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
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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