The plague of dogs (plague, Kare disease, Crimean disease, plague of carnivores) is a dangerous viral disease (paramyxovirus) transmitted by contact, by airborne droplets, through the digestive tract. The virus enters the blood through the lymph, then spreads through the body throughout the body, affecting to some extent all the organs and systems of the body. It is not only dogs that suffer from carnivorous plague, many wild animals (wolves, foxes, martens, ferrets, minks) are susceptible to this disease. People and cats do not suffer from distemper.
Important: cats have their own specific disease, which is also called plague – panleukopenia. But the dog plague and cat plague are two different diseases, they are not transmitted from cat to dog and vice versa.
The plague virus is contained in the blood, saliva, feces of a sick animal. Dog distemper is an extremely contagious disease, an animal can get sick just by walking on the grass, where the carrier passed before it. A person can bring a virus to the house on shoes and clothes. A dog can become infected from an animal that has recently had this disease – the plague virus is released into the external environment for several months after recovery.
Risk group: not vaccinated dogs, weak animals kept in poor conditions, having chronic diseases, puppies and young animals aged from 3 months to 2 years. In addition, the chance to become infected with the distemper increases if the dog is poorly fed and anti-parasitic drugs are given irregularly.
Dog Plague: Symptoms
The incubation period of the disease is from 3-5 days to 2-3 weeks (in most cases, 5-14 days). The virus, partially affecting the entire body, is localized in any one area. Depending on which system of the body is more affected, the distemper of dogs is nervous, pulmonary, intestinal and dermal. But the division is very conditional, in its pure form, none of these forms exist.
The nervous form of the distemper in dogs is manifested in ticking, cramps, muscle spasms. The dog becomes aggressive, irritable, drinks a lot, the body temperature is elevated. If the disease is not stopped early, paralysis of the hind limbs develops – the dog limps. At the last stage, the dog cannot get up, it is tormented by epileptic seizures, paralysis of the respiratory tract, heart, death occurs.
Signs of distemper in dogs with lesions of the respiratory system (pulmonary form): the body temperature rises, the tonsils are inflamed, the dog does not eat, but drinks a lot. The more the disease progresses, the weaker the dog becomes. After a few days, the dog does not get up, looks sick, lethargic, infantile. The dog often coughs, from the nose and eyes constantly flowing (purulent discharge), vomiting and diarrhea appear.
Symptoms of distemper in dogs with lesions of the digestive system (intestinal form): the dog vomits, fetid diarrhea appears yellow. There is no appetite, the dog drinks a lot, sometimes until vomiting, the temperature is elevated. White tongue is clearly visible on the tongue, stains and indentations may appear on the teeth, the dog periodically loses consciousness.
The skin form of the dog’s plague is the least dangerous: rashes and sores appear on the paw pads, on the muzzle, auricles, on the nose, on the skin of the abdomen. Blisters eventually burst, turning into multiple sores, which are covered with a dry crust. The crust cracks, bacteria get into the cracks, the microflora becomes pathogenic – inflammations in the dog cause pain, especially when moving. If the disease is not stopped, the dog becomes weaker, the body temperature rises, and discharge from the nose and eyes appears. Depending on the state of the dog’s body, any form of the distemper can occur in a lightning, acute, chronic and atypical form.
The fulminant form of the plague ends suddenly when the dog dies, without showing clinical signs. In acute (classical) course of the disease, the symptoms of distemper in dogs are pronounced: the dog loses appetite, drinks a lot, cough, nasal and eye discharge, may be vomiting and / or diarrhea, convulsions. In the chronic course of the disease, the symptoms are either absent or slightly expressed, the dog may be sick for several months. The atypical form of the plague is characterized by the absence of persistent symptoms (example: the dog limps on one paw, after a few hours the lameness disappears by itself, after a few days it suddenly appears again). The atypical form most often ends in the death of animals after the abrupt manifestation of all symptoms.
Immunized immunized dogs, as a rule, suffer from a plague in an abortive form – symptoms appear, the disease lasts for 1-3 days and stops by itself.
Among all the deadly viral diseases of dogs, distemper takes second place (after rabies). The percentage of mortality of adult animals, according to various sources, is from 40 to 70%.
Distemper in adult dogs older than 3 years often proceeds in a milder form than in puppies. Juveniles are more susceptible. Distemper in puppies, as a rule, occurs in an acute / rapid form, the mortality rate is 90%. The signs of a distemper in a puppy are the same as in an adult dog, but the disease progresses rapidly and often the owner does not have time to react. Even if the animal is recovering, in most cases the consequences of a severe illness will last for a lifetime (most often from the CNS).
Important: in some sources it is possible to meet the opinion that some dog breeds are more susceptible to this disease, while others, on the contrary, are less susceptible. You should not trust unconfirmed clinical trials of information and ignore preventive measures only because your dog belongs to sustainable breeds.
Treatment of dog plague
Plague carnivores – a serious disease! You can not rely on your strength and try to treat the dog yourself. All the stories of recovery of animals after otpaivaniya alcohol (vodka) and other folk remedies – no more than tales or the result of a strong dog immunity.
Important: alcohol reduces immunity and leads to general intoxication of the body. Vodka, alcohol, cognac and other strong in no way can help the dog to overcome the disease! The owner, who drinks the dog with alcohol, only reduces his chances for recovery.
If symptoms of plague appear, you should immediately contact a veterinary clinic. The doctor will take the analysis of the virus from the dog and, depending on the form of the disease, prescribe treatment. Although the word treatment is not quite appropriate here, since there is no drug that cures the dog of distemper. Treatment of distemper in dogs consists of a whole complex of measures that support the dog’s immunity and eliminate the symptoms. It is especially important to minimize intoxication and reduce inflammation of the respiratory system.
Important: herbal teas and vegetable juices accelerate the elimination of toxins from the body, strengthen the immune system, have sedative and antipyretic properties. Sick dog can drink infusion of hypericum, valerian, lime, chamomile, calendula and carrot juice. But you must first consult with a veterinarian!
A sick dog needs to create favorable conditions for recovery – this is extremely important when treating distemper! The dog must be kept in a warm room, not in a draft, preferably in a dark place (with any form of distemper, the dog may experience photophobia). Discharge from the eyes and nose should be periodically removed, avoiding the formation of crusts. Cracked skin – lubricate with antiseptic ointment, which will advise the veterinarian (if this is not done, bacteria will enter the dog’s body through cracks, which will lead to the development of various infections that reduce the chance of recovery).
It is very important to feed the dog correctly! Food should be slightly warm, portions – small, preferably liquid and semi-liquid food (soups, cereals).
Important: It is believed that the immune system of a dog that has suffered plague develops lifelong immunity to this disease. But you can’t rely on the case, because the body of each dog is individual. Do not risk and neglect vaccination.
How to protect a dog from distemper?
Regardless of age and living conditions, all dogs must be vaccinated annually from the plague of carnivores. Chumka vaccination is a must; without it, it is impossible to participate in exhibitions and breeding, to travel with a dog.
The first vaccine to puppies from the plague is done at the age of 3 months. At the beginning of life in babies, the immunity transmitted by the mother is preserved (if the bitch was vaccinated before pregnancy). By 2-3 months puppies stop eating the milk of a bitch, the immunity gradually decreases and the risk of infection increases significantly. Since it is extremely difficult to treat the dog plague, and in puppies the disease is acute, in no case should we ignore the “child” vaccination!
The next vaccination is done in six months, then – once a year with the same interval. The vaccine against plague, as a rule, does not cause side effects, and if they do, the dog tolerates them easily (vomiting, diarrhea, induration at the injection site). The dog can not get sick with the plague because of the vaccination!
After vaccination for 14-30 days, the dog develops strong immunity to the disease. Do not forget that only absolutely healthy animals can be vaccinated. 10 days before vaccination, you need to give the dog a tablet for worms. Vaccinating sick or weak animals, pregnant bitches and puppies under 6 weeks is not recommended.
In most cases, the vaccine against plague is a part of a polyvalent drug (a complex vaccine against several common diseases). Do not be afraid – modern drugs such as Nobivak, Eurikan, Tetradog, etc., are great for vaccinating pets. Yes, and the dog is easier to transfer one immune shake than a few in a row. Domestic vaccines are no less effective, an order of magnitude cheaper, but, as practice shows, polyvalent Russian-made drugs are often worse than imported ones.