The Canine Distemper Vaccination

August is Immunization Awareness Month—how much do you know about Canine Distemper, one of the most dangerous viruses for dogs? Learn all about the virus and its essential vaccination below from a Troy veterinarian.

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and can also affect certain eye membranes and the central nervous system in severe cases. As with most viruses, vaccinating your dog against distemper is far easier, cheaper, and safer than dealing with it once it’s taken hold.

What Are the Symptoms of Distemper?

A dog that has contracted distemper will probably first display cold-like symptoms, such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and so forth. As the disease progresses, you’ll see vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, depression, and possible fever. Let your veterinarian know as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, because prompt veterinary attention is required.

How Do Dogs Get the Virus?

Since distemper is so contagious, most dogs get it from contact with another infected dog. It’s easily transmitted through bodily fluids like urine, saliva, and blood. Simple activities like playing together, sharing a toy, or eating from the same food bowl are enough to pass distemper from one dog to another.

Is the Distemper Vaccine Considered “Core?”

The distemper vaccine is highly effective at preventing or limiting the virus, and it is considered a core vaccination. This means that it’s necessary for all dogs to get, regardless of exposure risk, environment, health, age, or any other factor. In fact, there’s a good chance your dog has already gotten the vaccine—it’s usually administered at an early age in a batch of core vaccines.

How Can I Get My Dog the Vaccine?

If your dog hasn’t gotten the distemper vaccine, it’s important to get your dog the immunization as quickly as possible. Contact your Troy veterinarian immediately to set up an appointment. He or she can walk you through the process and get your dog on the road to excellent vaccination health!

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