The canine distemper virus (CDV) causes a highly contagious disease in dogs known as distemper. Dogs who contract distemper suffer damage to their gastrointestinal, central nervous and respiratory systems. It's vitally important to vaccinate against distemper as it is incurable and often fatal.
Puppies between the ages of three and six months are most susceptible to the disease, although older dogs can also contract distemper.
At one time, distemper was the leading cause of death among puppies that had not been vaccinated. Since the distemper vaccine was created in the early 60s, incidents of distemper and distemper related deaths have dropped considerably.
CDV is transmitted via airborne viral particles that dogs inhale. Infected dogs also shed the virus through bodily secretions and excretions. This is why it is so easy for an infected dog to cause the infection of another healthy dog.
Distemper causes a multitude of symptoms that include …