Posted by: Navin | 2004/10/15


Can anyone let me know about the virus of distemper that the dogs carry. The signs a dog shows is whitefluids from the eyes and nose and imbalance.
Apparently there is no cure for this. People in the Durban and Phoenix area are experiencing this. How can this be prevented and how this virus can affect humans?
Many thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Distemper virus is a highly fatal virus that affects the respiratory system (coughing, sneezing and nasal and eye discharge), the intestine (vomiting and diarrhoea) and the brain (muscle contractions, imbalance and seizures). Once a dog has distemper, they seldom recover. The virus is highly contagious from one sick dog to other healthy dogs. The good news is that it is easily preventable with the routine vaccination is that should be given at six, 12 and 18 weeks and annually thereafter. This virus is one of the main reasons why dogs should be vaccinated regularly. The virus does not affect humans.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2004/10/16

Distemper is a virus that attacks the nervous system. Symptoms can be far-ranging, from diarrhoea to lack of muscle control, and the damage to the nervous system often results in chorea, which is an involuntary and incurable twitching of certain muscles - eg, one or more legs. This can get so bad that a limb might have to be amputated, as the dog gets no rest or peace because of the muscles jerking.

A degree of immunity is carried in the mother's milk, but it is essential that all dogs be vaccinated against distemper as prescribed. Once they have been vaccinated, or exposed to the virus and survived, they are immune.

The degree to which dogs are affected varies. Treatment is symptomatic, and may or may not be successful. As stated above, damage to the nervous system is permanent.

There was an outbreak of the virus in the Cape a few years ago, and unvaccinated dogs suffered badly.

Get your dogs vaccinated, and they will be fine - it's as simple as that.

Reply to Chill

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