Can a dog live a normal life after distemper?

It is absolutely possible for dogs who survived distemper to lead a long, happy, comfortable life. Some dogs fully recover from the virus with few to no long-term effects or signs, while others display certain characteristics that will last throughout the rest of their lives.

Can a dog completely recover from distemper?

It is entirely possible to recover from Canine Distemper Disease. Recovery is usually dependent upon the strength of the dog's immune system and the strain of distemper they have contracted. It can take up to 2 months to fully recover.

How long can a dog live after distemper?

Dogs can reach the terminal stage for distemper about 2 to 4 weeks after infection. Older dogs with a more mature immune system can last several months. At the end of life when the illness attacks the nervous system, dogs suffer from seizures, paralysis and hysteria.

What are the long term effects of distemper in dogs?

Lasting Health Issues from Canine Distemper

Muscle twitching. Jaw spasms. Nerve damage. Brain damage.

What happens after a dog recovers from distemper?

Dogs who do recover from distemper are not considered to be carriers of the disease. In rare cases, dogs who recover from distemper can have a relapse of central nervous system symptoms two to three months after their initial infection, which may be fatal.


Does distemper cause permanent damage?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “distemper is often fatal, and dogs that survive usually have permanent, irreparable nervous system damage.”

How can I help my dog survive distemper?

Treating Canine Distemper
  1. Antibiotics to prevent secondary infections.
  2. Intravenous fluids to tackle dehydration.
  3. Anti-seizure medication.
  4. Medications to control vomiting and diarrhea.

What do dogs feel when they have distemper?

Symptoms of Distemper in Dogs and Puppies

Nasal discharge. Coughing. Sneezing. Depression.

Do vaccinated dogs survive distemper?

Answer: Unfortunately, the short answer to this question is “yes”. Vaccines are unable to 100% completely protect against a disease, however providing your dog with the recommended vaccination protocol will greatly reduce his chances of becoming sick.

How long does it take distemper to run its course?

One to six weeks for the majority of cases with most showing signs within one to four weeks.

How long does the neurological phase of distemper last?


Classically, the neurologic phase of distemper occurs 1-3 weeks after the resolution of the mucosal phase but can potentially occur months afterwards.

Which is worse parvo or distemper?

As mentioned, distemper and parvo are both very contagious and dangerous to your dog. Both can cause severe symptoms leading to intense hospitalized treatment and may even lead to death. Distemper, in particular, can also cause long-term issues if your puppy is able to survive the initial illness.

Why do dogs with distemper cry?

Your dog with distemper may be crying because of the symptoms of distemper. It may be connected to the neurological damage and making your dog feel sick. Your dog may be in pain or crying for help. Distemper can be uncomfortable to dogs so it's important that you know how to help manage its pain.

What are the stages of distemper?

Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.
What are the stages of distemper?
  • Weepy eyes and nasal discharge.
  • Coughing.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Lethargy.

What kills distemper?

Distemper virus is easy to kill with disinfectants, sunlight or heat. In the body, this virus attacks and grows within the white cells (lymphocytes and macrophages) of the blood and lymphatic system as well as the cells that line the intestinal tract. Canine distemper virus is very resistant to cold.

When should I put my dog down with distemper?

Dogs with distemper virus should be given a chance, if possible, to recover and enjoy lives free of disease, even if they might have the occasional seizure, a consistent head tilt or nervous tic. As long as the long-term effects don't bother them (and, in my experience, they usually don't), I'd say go for it.

Can distemper be misdiagnosed?

Mild or early cases of distemper can appear identical to run-of-the-mill "kennel cough". For this reason, complacency about symptoms of respiratory illness can prove disastrous. Unfortunately, there is no simple and reliable method of diagnosing distemper in all infected dogs.

Is distemper a death sentence?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of all ages, and it is endemic in many parts of the country. Distemper is not a death sentence, however — not for individual dogs, and certainly not for all the dogs in the shelter.

Can humans catch distemper?

Also like us, animals carry germs. But illnesses common among house pets — such as distemper, canine parvovirus, and heartworms — can't spread to people.

How do I know if my dog has survived distemper?

Involuntary tics, twitches, or muscle spasms are the most common signs seen in distemper survivors. One study estimates they may affect up to 40% of dogs who have survived distemper. The neurological tics may affect the face (causing winking), front or hind legs (causing hopping), or torso (causing a sway or shrug).

Is distemper contagious after recovery?

How long do infected dogs remain contagious? Up to four months post recovery. What materials are contagious? Virus is shed in greatest numbers in respiratory secretions such as ocular (eye) and nasal discharge as well as droplets spread by coughing.

What does it mean when a dog is a distemper survivor?

Long-Term Effects of Distemper

Dogs that survive infection with distemper often have long-lasting effects from the disease including hyperkeratosis (thickening) of their nose and foot pads. This is why distemper is commonly known as “hard pad disease.”

What percentage of dogs survive distemper?

The disease is often fatal with a mortality rate of 50% in adult dogs and 80% in puppies. Increased susceptibility to distemper in juveniles results in more wildlife cases in the spring and summer when babies are being born. However, there are cases year round. The mortality rate is close to 100% in mustelids.

Can distemper go away?

There is no cure for canine distemper infection. Treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections; control vomiting, diarrhea and neurologic symptoms; and combat dehydration through administration of fluids.

Do vaccinated dogs survive distemper?

Answer: Unfortunately, the short answer to this question is “yes”. Vaccines are unable to 100% completely protect against a disease, however providing your dog with the recommended vaccination protocol will greatly reduce his chances of becoming sick.