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What are the

Symptoms for

Canine Distemper?

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Canine Distemper - Learning the Symptoms and Stages
Brought to you by the expert paws of Tippy

Early symptoms of Canine Distemper:

- Depression
- Eye Inflammation
- Fever
- Poor Appetite
- Nasal Discharge
- Coughing and development of pneumonia

Early symptoms of canine distemper may only last a few days.
The initial fever can spike from one hundred and three to
one hundred and six degrees Fahrenheit and peaks after a
week. The fever usually goes unnoticed and peaks again a few
days after the first fever. Once the fever subsides symptoms
become varied depending on the dog's immunity and the strain
of the CDV virus that was contracted.

Second stage symptoms of Canine Distemper:

Secondary stage symptoms are usually related to the
gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system.

- Discharge from the eye (Conjunctivitis) - Diarrhea - Fever
(usually present but often unnoticed) - Cough, labored
breathing (Pneumonia) - Runny nose (Rhinitis) - Vomiting

Often the symptoms listed above are made worse by infections
with secondary bacteria. Dogs usually develop an
inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
(encephalomyelitis). Symptoms remain varied and progressive.

Often the dog seems to have recovered from the disease, only
to begin exhibiting Third Stage Symptoms within one to three

Third stage symptoms of canine distemper:

Third stage symptoms are usually related to the nervous

- Muscle incoordination (Ataxia)
- Depression
- Increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as
pain or touch (Hyperesthesia)
- Muscle twitching or spasm, which can become disabling
- Paralysis
- Partial or incomplete paralysis (Paresis)
- Progressive deterioration of motor skills
- Progressive deterioration of mental abilities
- Seizures

Seizures can affect any part of the dog's body and one type
of seizure that is unique to canine distemper cases takes place in
the head and is sometimes known as a chewing gum fit. Often
this ends up with the dog lacerating its own tongue with its

Eye symptoms associated with Canine distemper:

There are several different eye inflammations that can occur
along with canine distemper:

- Inflammation of the choroid and retina of the eye - the
dog's eyes may be "bloodshot" and weepy. (Chorioretinitis)

- Inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye,
causes swelling and pus to form around the eyeball

- Lesions on the retina (the innermost layer of the eye) may
be very painful for the dog, which may rub and paw at its
eyes consequently.

- Inflammation of the optic nerve which leads to blindness
(Optic neuritis)

If your dog recovers from canine distemper there are two
relatively minor conditions that can become chronic in your

- Unenameled teeth that erode quickly in puppies whose
permanent teeth hadn't erupted yet when they contracted
distemper - the virus kills the cells that make the tooth
enamel (Enamel hypoplasia)

- Hardening of the foot pads and nose (Hyperkeratosis)

Infection of fetuses in the womb of the mother dog is rare
but it can happen. This can lead to:

- Spontaneous abortion
- Persistent infection in newborn puppies
- The birth of normal looking puppies that rapidly develop
symptoms and die within 4 to 6 weeks.

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