Canine distemper is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease. The virus is spread in the air and via direct contact through respiratory secretions of an infected dog or wild animal. Distemper primarily affects puppies and younger dogs, but can infect and be potentially fatal in dogs of any age. The disease attacks primarily the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems (brain and spinal cord) but can affect every organ system of the body. It may cause vomiting, diarrhea, pneumonia, and severe brain damage. Canine distemper is so widespread that nearly every dog is exposed during its lifetime. Canine distemper’s high fatality rate makes vaccination essential.
Distemper is spread through contact with bodily secretions (eg, nasal discharge), but is most commonly spread through airborne transmission (eg, sneezing and coughing). Clinical signs: Fever, Nasal discharge, Coughing, Vomiting, Diarrhea.
What dogs are at risk?
All dogs are at risk but puppies younger than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against canine distemper are at increased risk of acquiring the disease.
Symptoms of Canine Distemper:
Canine Distemper usually starts with several common signs of respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and eye and nasal discharge. Other, symptoms include:
#Gastrointestinal (GI) signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, dehydration and weight loss. These signs are typically seen shortly after the onset of the respiratory illness.
#Neurological signs such as tremors of the head, neck and/or one or more legs (most often seen when a dog is asleep), stumbling, seizures and/or paralysis. These signs can accompany the respiratory and GI problems but usually occur one to three weeks after recovery from these signs.
#Physical changes such as overgrowth of the foot pads can also occur. Teeth abnormalities can be seen in dogs that recover from the disease
Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2)
Canine adenovirus type 2 causes respiratory disease in dogs and is one of the infectious agents commonly associated with canine infectious tracheobronchitis, which is also known as “kennel cough”. Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is usually spread through coughing. Dogs that are around other dogs, such as at boarding facilities and dog parks, are at increased risk for infection.
Along with parainfluenza, canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is one of the reasons dogs get Kennel Cough. Coughing and gagging accompanied by a fever, runny nose, or red, watery eyes are the most common symptoms.
After CAV-2 has been transmitted to a dog, the incubation (development) period of the disease is approximately 3 to 10 days. The infection in some cases, can lead to pneumonia.
#Dogs that come from shelters, rescue centers, breeding kennels, or pet stores
#Boarding at a kennel or doggie daycare
#Visiting groomers, dog parks, or engaging with other dogs on a daily basis
#Dogs that live in multi-pet homes
Transmission of Canine Adenovirus
Spread directly from dog to dog through infected respiratory secretions (coughing/sneezing) or by contact with contaminated feces or urine.
Signs and Identification
Common signs of CAV-2 infection include:
#A dry, hacking cough
#Retching and gagging
#Coughing up a white, foamy discharge
#conjunctivitis (inflammation of the inner eyelids and tissues around the eyes)
Canine parainfluenza virus is one of the most common causes of infectious tracheobronchitis, also called “kennel cough”, an infection of the windpipe (trachea) and its lower branches (the bronchi). Kennel cough is characterized by a dry, persistent cough which can last for weeks to several months even with treatment. The disease is extremely contagious from dog to dog. It can lead to pneumonia and death.
What causes canine parainfluenza infection?
Canine parainfluenza is a viral condition that is transmitted through a variety of means, including contact with affected dogs and the bowls, bedding and kennels that they use, and by means of the airborne particles from coughing and sneezing.
After infection and potential recovery, dogs can continue to pass on the virus responsible for the condition for up to two weeks.
What type of situation may place dogs at risk of developing the virus?
Any situation that places dogs in close quarters with other dogs can cause the condition to spread, so contact with other dogs in dog parks and out walking may potentially place your dog at risk.
However, the disease is most prevalent and most widely spread between dogs living together in close quarters; environments such as boarding kennels, race kennels, rehoming shelters and pet daycare centres. Other situations such as shows and competitions, and even visits to a canine grooming parlour can also place healthy dogs at risk for developing the condition if the virus is present.
The symptoms of canine parainfluenza
Dogs may exhibit a range of symptoms when affected by the virus, so dog owners should be on the lookout for any combination of the signs outlined below:
#A persistent dry, hacking cough that may become worse after exertion
#Fever and high temperature
#A runny nose or nasal discharge
#Eye inflammation or weeping eyes, possibly accompanied by conjunctivitis
#Depression, lethargy and loss of appetite
1. Collect dog’s ocular and nasopharyngeal secretions with the swab stick. Make the swab wet sufficiently.
2. Insert the wet swab into the provided assay buffer tube. Agitate it to assure good sample extraction.
3. Take out the cassette from the foil pouch and place it horizontally.
4. Gradually drip 2-3 drops of sample extraction into the sample hole “S”.
Interpret the result in 5-10 minutes.