How long does it take for a dog to die as a result of distemper?


Knowing how long it takes for a dog to die of distemper is relevant information for tutors who have a pet with this disease at home. But is it possible to estimate a life expectancy after the diagnosis of the disease?

Canine distemper is a viral disease that can affect dogs of all breeds and ages, it is responsible for causing the malfunction of various organs and can lead to death. Keeping the vaccination record up to date is one of the main ways to prevent this disease.

Despite the seriousness, distemper can be cured if treatment is started soon after the first signs of the disease. For this reason, it is very important for the owner to be aware of how distemper manifests itself in dogs and thus be able to recognize the symptoms.

Below, we explain more about the disease and help you understand how long it takes for your dog to die from distemper.

what is distemper

Canine distemper is caused by a virus known as CDV , a common virus especially in winter, as the dry and cold climate helps it to resist longer outside the host.

After settling in the puppy’s organism, the virus begins to degenerate in some parts of the neurons and starts to affect the functioning of several organs.

The disease is transmitted from dog to dog through direct or indirect contact with secretions from the mouth and nose of an infected person. For this reason, it is advisable to isolate the dog with distemper so that the disease does not reach other animals in the house or area where he usually circulates.

symptoms of distemper

The symptoms of distemper can easily be confused with symptoms of other diseases that affect dogs, therefore, when showing any sign that it is not well, the dog should be immediately evaluated by a veterinarian. Symptoms usually appear between 6 and 15 days after contact with the virus.

All symptoms of the disease affect the quality of life of the dog. Are they:

Early symptoms of distemper

  • Fever
  • loss of appetite
  • Apathy
  • Excessive nasal and eye discharge

Symptoms of advanced stage distemper

  • Diarrhea
  • vomit
  • Lack of motor coordination
  • bleeding
  • convulsion
  • Paralysis

The time of evolution from the initial symptoms to the most severe varies from dog to dog, most of the time this occurs within a period of ten days.

However, there are cases in which the dog presents the first symptoms, appears to be recovered for months and only then the most serious symptoms of distemper appear.

How Distemper Is Diagnosed

The veterinarian makes the diagnosis of distemper through the analysis of clinical signs and laboratory tests. In short, the test can identify the gene that encodes the virus protein.

As soon as the tutor notices the first symptoms of distemper, he should look for a veterinarian to obtain an accurate diagnosis. It is also worth remembering that an early diagnosis considerably increases the effectiveness of treatments.

Distemper treatment

Treatment consists of combating the symptoms that distemper causes, preventing them from worsening the animal’s situation and stimulating the dog’s body to recover from the virus.

Medicines are used to maintain body temperature, cut diarrhea and vomiting, prevent seizures and also vitamins, since the dog’s lack of appetite during illness can cause malnutrition.

Canine distemper is a serious disease with a high mortality rate. Recovery is more common in dogs aged between two and ten years old, at this stage the body is able to fight the CDV virus more easily . However, many of the survivors have sequels.

How long does it take for a dog to die as a result of distemper?

Because it is a serious and contagious disease, tutors soon wonder: How long does it take for a dog to die as a result of distemper?

In short, there is no way to state the exact lifetime, as several factors need to be considered to create an estimate.

The lifespan of a dog with distemper will depend on its age, the speed of diagnosis, the conditions of the immune system and its response to treatment.

Canine distemper, in a dog with good immunity, lasts an average of two weeks. Symptoms tend to disappear after this period when treatment is carried out in the right way. Now, if the animal has a more fragile immune system, the aggressive symptoms of the disease can manifest for two months or more.

Knowing how long it takes a dog to die of distemper depends on several factors. In any case, puppies, elderly animals or animals that have a disease that impairs immunity do not resist for a long time.

Due to the severity of the disease, the mortality rate of distemper among dogs is considered high: 15% do not resist the diagnosis. In many cases, the pet does not die from the disease itself, but suffers from the impacts of neurological sequelae and therefore needs to be euthanized.

distemper prevention

The best way to prevent canine distemper is through vaccination . In the first 45 days of life, puppies should receive an eightfold (V8) and tenfold (V10) polyvalent dose, with two more booster doses, one after 21 days and another 42 days after the first immunization.

In addition, it is important that the space where the dog lives is always clean, it is also necessary to keep it under supervision so that it does not come into contact with dogs contaminated with distemper or walk through areas where the virus may be present.

If you have a dog that has been infected with canine distemper, you should thoroughly wash the area where the dog used to be. It is recommended to prevent other dogs from circulating around the place for at least 30 days.

Finally, there is no way of knowing precisely how long it takes for a dog to die of distemper. In any case, after the diagnosis, make the treatment correctly and follow the advice of the veterinarian.

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