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Distemper is an extremely contagious viral disease that mainly affects dogs; however, it can affect other animals as well. Once an animal contracts distemper, it is nearly always fatal. The pet disease typically develops in the respiratory system first but can quickly spread to the gastrointestinal and nervous systems if left untreated.

How Distemper Affects Your Pet

As stated above, whenever an animal contracts distemper, it is almost always fatal. Domestic pets and other animals can get distemper if they come in contact with other animals that have it. With that said, the best way to avoid distemper is to vaccinate your pet against it. While there is no definitive cure for distemper, there are treatments for the symptoms. Although most animals with distemper die, a small percentage do live. However, the ones that live may experience significant respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological damage.

Common Symptoms of Distemper

Common Symptoms of Distemper in a pet: Watery Eyes, Pus-like Discharge from the Eyes, Persistent Coughing, Labored Breathing, Lethargy, Fever, Vomiting, Nasal Discharge, Lack of Appetite, Diarrhea, Seizures and Coma. It is essential to note that the signs of distemper can vary from one animal to another. While one animal may display only one or two symptoms, another may show several. With that said, it is extremely important to pay close attention to your pet and seek veterinary attention immediately if you notice any of the above warning signs.

Treatments for Distemper

If your pet is diagnosed with distemper, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent any secondary bacterial infections. Intravenous fluids may also be necessary to prevent dehydration. Various sedatives and anticonvulsants can help control seizures, and medication may be recommended to help with diarrhea and vomiting. Whether or not your pet will survive distemper depends upon how quickly you seek veterinary attention, how far the disease has progressed, your pet's age, and whether or not it has been vaccinated. Of course, the best way to prevent distemper and maintain excellent pet health is by inoculating your pets, which can provide almost 100 percent protection against the disease.

Breeds Affected

Typically, distemper is a serious pet health concern among just dogs. However, it can affect many other animals as well, including domesticated cats. The animals that have been known to contract the disease are any breed of dog and domesticated cats.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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