Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease

Distemper in Dogs

Animals Affected – Dog

General Information
Distemper is a highly contagious disease of dogs, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, mink, and ferrets. It is caused by a virus that is easily spread through the air and by contaminated objects, much like the cold virus spreads in people.

Although the disease occurs more often in young dogs, those of any age may contract distemper. This is especially true of animals under stress or those that are relatively isolated from other dogs.

Signs range from those of a mild respiratory problem, such as runny eyes and nose, to severe diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures. Many recovered dogs are left with uncontrollable muscle or limb jerking and/or periodic convulsions.

Vaccination is the best means of preventing canine distemper. All dogs should be vaccinated yearly or have titers checked for this disease.

Important Points in Treatment
1.    Distemper is a serious disease that is often fatal. Currently we have no drugs to destroy the virus. Treatment is aimed at supporting general health and preventing bacterial infections. In many cases, hospital treatment is necessary.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

  • Upon arrival, owners can call us from the curb in front of the clinic and we will have a technician assistant come to your car and bring your pet inside.
  • From here, your pet will be examined and the doctor will develop a treatment plan which he will then communicate via phone with the owner.
  • At the end of the visit, an invoice will be brought out to your car and payment can be taken via phone.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.