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Canine distemper prevention

Canine Distemper Prevention

Vaccination is the only way to ensure your dog doesn’t develop distemper. Ideally, your dog will be vaccinated when he’s still a puppy. However, if a puppy is still drinking his mother’s milk, the immunities provided by that milk may interfere with vaccination. Your veterinarian can predict when your puppy is no longer getting immunity from his mother’s milk by taking blood from the mother dog before she whelps. Nonetheless, the general recommendation is that puppies should be vaccinated at six weeks of age, and re-vaccinated every three to four weeks until they are 16 months old.

Pups three to eight months are the most common victims of distemper. Those puppies who are too young to be vaccinated should be carefully protected from wild animals or adult dogs other than their mother. Some puppies develop signs of canine distemper following vaccination even though they do not appear to have the disease. In these puppies encephalitis occurs. This can be fatal, although most puppies do recover.

One vaccination isn’t enough protection for your adult dog, either, so make sure your pet’s distemper vaccinations stay up-to-date. Most veterinarians recommend a yearly distemper vaccination.

Distemper vaccines have been used for decades and are quite safe. In fact, even an unvaccinated dog who has been exposed to distemper can benefit from a vaccination, if it’s received within four days of exposure.

Dogs that survive a bout with distemper are immune to the virus for the rest of their life.

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