Cinomose canina tem cura? Entenda os riscos da doença

Canine distemper have a cure? Understand the risks of the disease


It all starts with a mild conjunctivitis, which progresses to respiratory and neurological symptoms, which can lead the dog to have serious consequences in motor coordination and, in some cases, death. These are signs of distemper, serious disease that affects dogs and other wild animals.

The disease is very common in puppies and elderly dogs, animals that do not have a strengthened immune system and are susceptible to the invasion of various viruses and bacteria.

In this content, we will explain how this disease impacts the health of pets, what is the best treatment for the disease and whether canine distemper has a cure. Shall we go to the text?

Distemper: what is it?

Distemper is a disease caused by the paramyxovirus, of the genus Morbillivirus, who is part of the family Paramyxoviridae. Dogs affected by this viral group can carry the virus for months and not show any symptoms of infection.

The main form of transmission is through the air. This means that the infected dog coughs or sneezes in the environment, causing the virus to circulate in the area.

Other canines and wild animals can also receive the virus and become transmitting agents. These are the cases of the vinegar dog, maned wolf, wild dog, foxes and raccoons.

Dogs of any breed and age can have the disease at any stage of life, especially puppies and elderly or sick dogs, due to the vulnerability of their immune system.

How distemper is transmitted

A dog infected with distemper can be a danger to other healthy dogs, as the disease can be transmitted through various means, mainly through the air.

Then, when coughing, sneezing, licking and biting, an infected dog shares the virus with other pets around it. Other forms of contagion are through mucous membranes and by sharing infected feeders, drinkers, blankets and cages. Contaminated urine and feces are also sources of the disease.

In some cases, the disease can be transmitted through the infected mother’s placenta to her puppy.

For unvaccinated dogs, living with other dogs is a risk to their own health and that of others.

Can distemper be transmitted to humans?

Although it is not a zoonosis, humans can be disease-transmitting agents and contribute to canine contagion.

In this case, the virus comes into contact with the human body, but is unable to cause any damage or impact on health. However, in direct contact with a dog, it is possible for the virus to be transmitted.

Symptoms of distemper

The manifestation of canine distemper can happen in different ways and evolve according to the health and age of the pets. This is a progressive disease and its first symptoms tend to be subtle.

1st phase: ophthalmic

The initial stage of canine distemper occurs in the ophthalmic region. The main symptoms are eye secretions and conjunctivitis. The dog, at this moment, is still healthy, which leads many owners to extend medical care, thinking it is a mild and temporary infection.

2nd phase: respiratory

Along with the symptoms of the first phase of distemper, respiratory problems begin to appear, such as coughs with secretions and even canine pneumonia. The dog then begins to feel more uncomfortable, tired and weak. Other signs of this stage of the disease are:

  • Nasal and eye secretions
  • Acute fever
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Panting

3rd phase: integumentary

Abdominal pustules and drier, flakier paw skin These are the main signs that distemper has progressed to the third phase of the process. The situation starts to get very serious, as the symptoms from the previous stages accumulate, greatly weakening the pet’s health.

4th phase: digestive

It is common for dogs that reach the fourth stage of distemper to experience vomiting and digestive changes, as the gastrointestinal system is the main one affected at this time. Other common symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea (with or without blood)
  • Dor abdominal
  • Lack of appetite
  • Apathy

5th phase: neurological

If the dog has reached this stage of the disease, it is likely that he is already quite weak. With the nervous system compromised, the symptoms of the neurological phase affect all of the pet’s motor functions.

The dog with canine distemper at this stage has difficulty performing basic movements, such as walking, running, eating and lying down. Tremors, involuntary contractions and drastic changes in behavior are common signs.

The virus, therefore, multiplies through neurons, which can cause acute encephalitisa kind of irritation and swelling in the brain.

Distemper sequelae

It is important to understand the severity of canine distemper, a disease that begins with mild symptoms, very similar to common flu and infections, and can evolve into serious consequences for the pet’s health.

As it affects the nervous system, it is possible that the infected dog will have lifelong consequences, especially in motor function.

Photo of a sick brown dog lying on a blue blanket
Dogs with advanced stage distemper can suffer many consequences.

Paralysis, balance changes, tetraplegia, paraplegia and constant convulsions These are some of the consequences that infected puppies can face if they do not start treatment in time.

Is distemper curable?

There is no cure for canine distemper. Therefore, the infected dog will have to live with the presence of the virus throughout its life.

However, there are several types of treatment to strengthen the body and reduce the harmful effects of the disease, from medications to control symptoms to even physiotherapy and acupuncture sessions, methods used to optimize mobility and immune response.

Some of the medications used to treat the symptoms of canine distemper are:

  • Antibiotic and antipyretic
  • anticonvulsants
  • Difficult
  • Nutritional supplements

Can canine distemper kill?

The virus responsible for distemper is very resistant, capable of surviving both dry and cold environments and humid and hot places. This demonstrates the difficulty of eliminating it from the environment and the pets’ organism.

According to the Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine of the State of São Paulo (CRMV-SP), 75% of dogs infected with distemper die. The reasons involve the vulnerable health of infected animals and the late start of treatment.

How to prevent canine distemper?

There is no more effective method for preventing distemper than vaccination. Protection against the paramyxovirus is provided by the V8, V10 and V11 vaccines, which can be taken by puppies from 45 days of age, with annual boosters on the recommendation of the veterinarian.

While the vaccination cycle is still incomplete, the ideal is do not expose the puppy to the presence of other dogsin order to avoid any risk of transmission from infected animals.

Canine distemper is dangerous and can kill. With the similarity of the initial symptoms to other diseases, it is important to keep an eye on any more serious changes in behavior.

The right thing to do is not to extend medical care for your pet or try to medicate it yourself. Prevention is the best way to keep your dog healthy and free from illness.

In addition to canine distemper, there are other diseases with the same level of severity that can cause various health complications for the animal. One of them is spotted fever. Want to know more about this disease? Read our content to understand its impacts, forms of treatment and prevention.