Cemurery In The Dog: How To Protect Our Puppy?

One of the most serious diseases that our dog can contract, especially as a puppy, is the distemper. It is a dangerous virus that can even endanger the life of our pet, but careful veterinary care and proper prevention can prevent the problem.

The difficulty lies in the fact that it is very often difficult to identify symptoms in time, so we asked Dr. Samanta Russo of the Semprini Clinic to investigate the subject and explain how to contract, what are the symptoms, how to treat it and how to protect our four-legged friend from the distemper.

Cemorrhoea In The Dog: What Is The Disease?

Cylinder is an infectious disease caused by a virus of the family of the Morbillivirus. Not all dogs are equally exposed to the infectious action, in fact, mainly affects puppies, regardless of race. In general, those who have not taken colostrum, i.e. breastmilk produced in the first 24/48 hours, and those who, after 6/8 weeks, are not vaccinated are more at risk.

We have summarized and explained previously which vaccines are strongly recommended for dogs and which pathologies they prevent; as for the distemper, the vaccine is a fundamental appointment to avoid the disease that, in some cases, can even lead to death.

The risk, however, is limited to dogs. We need to know, in fact, that this virus is not capable of infecting people or other pets. It spreads by air, replicates in the epithelium at the level of the tonsils and from there spreads to the rest of the body through the blood and nervous system.

The infection can also occur through contact with “healthy carriers”, i.e. animals that have the distemper virus, but do not have the symptoms, unless they are subjected to such stress that we see a collapse of the immune system. It is not easy to predict how the disease will spread, and this makes it essential to pay attention to prevention.

How Can We Recognise The Symptoms Of The Virus?

The symptoms that distinguish it, taken individually, make us think of simple pathologies that are very common and not very serious. In fact, the virus induces respiratory, gastroenteric, dermatological and neurological problems which, generally, appear at a more advanced stage of the disease:

  • cough;
  • sneezing;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • truffle and bearings hyperkeratosis;
  • cracks in the bearings;
  • vacuum chewing;
  • convulsive crisis;
  • myoclonus

The Morbillivirus also causes a drop in the white blood cells in the dog’s blood, which further weakens the immune system: the consequence is that the sick puppy is exposed to secondary infections that complicate the clinical picture.


It is not easy for the owner to notice that his puppy has contracted the distemper: the symptoms we have just mentioned, in fact, are reminiscent of those of a simple flu. However, the combination of several problems or the presence of small ulcers in the mouth or skin lesions can turn into a valuable wake-up call. The situation is, however, now serious when neurological symptoms appear: in light of the history, excluding ingestion of toxins, drugs, plants that may justify the onset of neurological symptoms in the puppy among the first differential diagnoses there is a congenital disease, an inflammatory/infectious disease and, among the latter, certainly the distemper. At this point the intervention of a veterinarian cannot be postponed if we want to protect the health of our four-legged friend.

Therapy And Hospitalization

The distemper in the dog is a serious disease precisely because there are no antiviral drugs that act on the Morbillivirus. The vet focuses his efforts on supporting therapies that act on related symptoms: for example, he can prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, or proceed with the hospitalization of the puppy in the clinic, especially in the case of gastrointestinal problems.

The dog is monitored 24 hours a day and is followed closely, drug therapy and radiotherapy are provided. In some cases, feeding can also be done by means of a probe to provide the puppy with all the tools he needs to resist the distemper.

The goal of veterinary therapy is to overcome the critical phase of the disease while waiting for the immune system to respond to the virus. The speed and intensity of the reaction depend on subjective factors: there are dogs that have a better genetic predisposition, others that have received colostrum in small quantities and therefore have a few more chances, still others that are simply stronger. “For this reason, emphasizes Dr. Russo, it is always worth trying to treat the puppies.

However, when neurological symptoms emerge it is very difficult for any surgery to allow the dog to fully recover: even if the puppy recovers, it is very likely that signs of the disease such as nervous tics or more severe deficits will remain.

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