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Healthy Dogs

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Canine Distemper

How Can Canine Distemper Be Treated?

There is currently no available medication that can destroy the virus that causes canine distemper. Rather, supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. Veterinarians can offer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and antibiotics to ward off secondary infections while the infected dog builds up his immune response. Some dogs are able to survive the infection, while for others canine distemper can be fatal.

Are There Lasting Health Issues?

Dogs who recover from canine distemper may have seizures or other central nervous system disorders that may not show up until many years later-sometimes in their old age. They may also be left with permanent brain and nerve damage, and these symptoms also may not show up until years later.


WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.
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