Distemper Combo

Parvo Virus

Distemper develops over a course of days, but parvovirus can overwhelm a dog within hours of the first symptoms and result in death within 48-72 hours.

Found throughout the world, parvo is a highly contagious disease that attacks the intestinal tract, the white blood cells, and sometimes the heart. It is spread through contact with the feces of infected dogs and can be carried on shoes, crates, equipment, or on the hair or feet of infected dogs. One infected dog at a show, a canine expo, a charity walk, a shelter, a boarding kennel, or any other event or facility where dogs congregate can spread the virus to hundreds of unprotected dogs.

Symptoms of parvo appear five-to-seven days after exposure and include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Feces are generally light gray or yellow-gray and may be streaked with blood. Puppies under the age of six months are most susceptible to the disease. If the virus attacks the heart, puppies can die within hours or live for a few weeks or months. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers appear to be at higher risk for parvo than other breeds.

As with distemper, there is no treatment that kills the virus. Instead, nursing care consists of replacing fluids lost in diarrhea and vomiting, keeping the dog warm, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and dosing with antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.

Because parvovirus can live for months in an infected area, thorough cleaning of all surfaces is necessary to eradicate the disease in a kennel or home. Household bleach is an effective cleansing agent.

Vaccination against parvo has dramatically reduced incidence of the disease. The NCSU protocol “highly recommended” vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine and noted that dogs are still protected against parvo when challenged by the disease as much as seven years later.

Distemper develops over a course of days, but parvovirus can overwhelm a dog within hours of the first symptoms and result in death within 48-72 hours.

Found throughout the world, parvo is a highly contagious disease that attacks the intestinal tract, the white blood cells, and sometimes the heart. It is spread through contact with the feces of infected dogs and can be carried on shoes, crates, equipment, or on the hair or feet of infected dogs. One infected dog at a show, a canine expo, a charity walk, a shelter, a boarding kennel, or any other event or facility where dogs congregate can spread the virus to hundreds of unprotected dogs.

Symptoms of parvo appear five-to-seven days after exposure and include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Feces are generally light gray or yellow-gray and may be streaked with blood. Puppies under the age of six months are most susceptible to the disease. If the virus attacks the heart, puppies can die within hours or live for a few weeks or months. Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers appear to be at higher risk for parvo than other breeds.

As with distemper, there is no treatment that kills the virus. Instead, nursing care consists of replacing fluids lost in diarrhea and vomiting, keeping the dog warm, controlling vomiting and diarrhea, and dosing with antibiotics to prevent secondary infection.

Because parvovirus can live for months in an infected area, thorough cleaning of all surfaces is necessary to eradicate the disease in a kennel or home. Household bleach is an effective cleansing agent.

Vaccination against parvo has dramatically reduced incidence of the disease. The NCSU protocol “highly recommended” vaccination with a modified live virus vaccine and noted that dogs are still protected against parvo when challenged by the disease as much as seven years later.

Infectious canine hepatitis

Hepatitis is also known as canine adenovirus type 1 or CAV-1. It is inhaled or ingested by the dog, enters the bloodstream, and targets the liver, kidneys, eyes, and the cells lining the inner surface of the blood vessels. Some cases barely show symptoms; puppies may have a slight fever or be slightly lethargic and recover quickly. Some cases are quick and deadly; puppies show fever, tonsilitis, reddened mouth and eye membranes, colic, then shock and death, sometimes within 24 hours.

The in-between manifestation of the disease is the one most commonly described. The early symptoms are similar to the other forms; some puppies recover within a week, but others develop internal bleeding, central nervous system involvement, and liver disease.

There is no cure, only supportive treatment. Vaccination against this disease is actually done with a modified live or killed product made from CAV-2, the other adenovirus that affects dogs. The NCSU protocol recommended vaccination with CAV-2 but noted that dogs challenged with the disease as much as seven years after vaccination were still protected.
Kennel cough

This common name for respiratory disease in dogs covers the actions of several infectious agents, including Bordatella bronchiseptica, a bacteria, canine adenovirus-2, and canine parainfluenza virus.

The parainfluenza virus is related to the canine distemper virus. Symptoms of these diseases range from a dry hacking cough to inflammation of the larynx, bronchial tubes, and trachea. CAV-2 also produces pneumonia in 10-20 percent of the affected dogs.

Kennel cough agents are highly contagious, especially in kennels or shelters where canine immune systems are stressed, leaving dogs susceptible to pre-existing infections or new attacks from infected dogs. Good kennel ventilation helps prevent these infections from taking hold, but vaccination is the only sure preventive.

A combined kennel cough vaccination contains CAV-2, parainfluenza, and Bordatella in one dose of nose drops. While the diseases usually present symptoms no more severe than a bad cold, vaccination is recommended if dogs are to be boarded or will come in contact with large numbers of dogs.

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease spread in the urine of wild and domestic animals and capable of causing illness in humans as well as dogs. Several species of the bacteria produce disease in dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, kidney inflammation, low-grade fever, vomiting, reddening of the mucous membranes and conjunctiva, and blood clotting abnormalities. A more generalized form of the disease can cause elevated liver enzymes, jaundice, pneumonia, and intestinal inflammation. Chronic kidney problems can result.

Antibiotic therapy is effective in fighting the bacterial invasion and supportive nursing (replenishment of fluids, administration of diuretics to flush the kidneys and prevent kidney failure, blood transfusions if necessary) is required.

Lepto vaccines, however, are not recommended unless there is a disease problem in the area. The vaccines help lessen the severity of the disease but do not prevent it and may not be effective for more than six months. Furthermore, puppies and small dogs can have adverse reactions to the vaccines. Therefore, many veterinarians do not recommend inoculation against leptospirosis. However, if a lepto outbreak occurs and veterinarians do recommend vaccination, dogs should be inoculated against all four strains of the disease unless the particular strain is identified.

Lyme disease

Lyme is a bacterial disease spread by ticks. Symptoms in dogs include lethargy, joint pain, lack of appetite, lymph node enlargement, and fever. Some dogs have antibodies to the disease, indicating that they have been exposed, but they show no symptoms.

Treatment is with the antibiotic tetracycline.

A vaccine is available but is not widely recommended because the disease is self-limiting and protection is limited to no more than six months following inoculation.

Lyme disease is more serious for humans than for dogs. Thus it is important to eliminate ticks by removing them from the dog and using appropriate chemical and biological controls.
Coronavirus

This virus causes diarrhea and vomiting and can be confused with parvovirus. The mode of infection is direct contact with an infected animal or its feces. Some dogs have antibodies but no symptoms; others lose their appetite, have smelly diarrhea, and are lethargic and dehydrated.

Treatment involves replacing lost fluids and controlling vomiting and diarrhea. A vaccine is available but not widely recommended. The NCSU guidelines noted that the disease is not widespread enough to justify routine vaccination of all dogs.