Plague in dogs (or scientifically - plague of carnivores) is a very dangerous disease, especially for puppies. Which dog owner does not know about her? Not only dogs are subject to it, but also other carnivores (foxes, wolves, ferrets, sables and others). In cats, a similar disease is recorded - panleukopenia. In fact, the same plague, only a specific virus - affects feline. Today we will tell you about the first signs of dog distemper, the main symptoms and what to do and how to treat the animal at home.
Causative agent of the disease
Canine distemper in dogs is caused by a virus from the paramyxovirus family (contains RNA). This pathogen is extremely close in its structure and characteristics to the virus that causes measles in people. And it is also similar to the causative agent of plague in large (and, of course, small) cattle. Therefore, it is very important to observe precautions when dealing with sick or even recovered animals.
The causative agent is extremely resistant. Unless in boiling water it dies instantly, so be sure to disinfect the objects for caring for a sick pet (bowls, toys) in this way. Even after a full recovery (when the clinical signs of a plague are in dogs), a virus remains in the blood that can cause the disease. Therefore, the animal can infect other pets. Even nasal secretions contain a dangerous microorganism. But urine and feces are a great danger.
How does a dog become infected with a plague?
How is distemper transmitted in dogs and can it be transmitted from dog to dog? Key ways 2:
- Through the respiratory tract;
- Through the digestive tract (with food or water in which the virus is located).
The pet becomes infected as in direct contact with the animal (sick or recovered 2-3 months ago), and with "indirect". That is, it is enough for the dog to smell or lick the object on which the pathogen is located. In the external environment, it can be for a long time. Therefore, even if a few days ago the sick four-legged mustache “inherited” (defecated, methyl bushes, dripped saliva or nasal secretions) in the territory where you are walking your friend, there is a high risk of infection.
More often (and heavier) than others, shepherds (German, East European, South Russian) and their mestizos, Siberian huskies, Pekingese, Moscow guard, hunting and decorative breeds are sick. The mongrels are more stable (due to the fact that their mothers often get sick and pass antibodies with milk) and terriers.
Types of plague in dogs
How is the plague manifested in dogs? In fact, the symptoms and types of this disease are very diverse. This is due to the fact that there are several forms of the disease: intestinal, nervous, pulmonary, skin and mixed. The incubation period of plague in dogs is quite long - about 40 days. Therefore, it is not always possible to determine the moment when the pet was in contact with the source of infection.
In addition to such a large number of forms, one should not exclude the fact that there are 3 currents: acute, subacute, chronic. Overexposure is rarely recorded.
|Super sharp current||Lightning current - the dog dies literally during the first two to three days. She has a temperature increase up to 41 degrees. The mucous eyes, nose and intestines become inflamed. Purulent conjunctivitis and rhinitis, lethargy, refusal of food, then coma and death are recorded.|
|Acute course||First, the temperature rises (usually from 39.7 to 41 degrees, but it can be less and higher). After two days, it falls a little (but still far from the norm) and remains so throughout the whole illness. Further symptoms depend on the form of the disease.|
|Subacute course||The temperature also rises high for only a day or two, then the fever, although constant, is not so strong. The pet is lethargic, depressed, and appetite disappears. The animal becomes very shy, can be afraid of light, the nose becomes dry. Then there is pus in the nose, which prevents breathing. Therefore, sneezing, snorting can be added to the symptoms. May occur 2-4 weeks. But if the dog has strong immunity, then recovery can occur in less than a week. However, do not rely on immunity, it is necessary to treat the dog for plague with specific drugs.|
|Chronic course||Plague in dogs, whose symptoms in the chronic course are the same as in the rest, proceeds from several weeks to several months, sometimes even years. This is a serious blow to all internal organs. The dog is very suffering.|
There are several forms of plague in dogs, we will understand each of them in detail:
It all starts with pus in the nasal passages. These "plugs" interfere with breathing, so the frequency of respiratory movements increases. Since the form is pulmonary, then the main lesion falls on the lungs. They become inflamed (pneumonia), swell. On auscultation (listening), wheezing is heard. Due to pneumonia, the body temperature again jumps strongly. Sneezing and coughing (first dry, then moist and lingering) are also recorded. The pet is trembling, very weak, then convulsions develop.
Despite the fact that the form is pulmonary, the plague in dogs is characterized by eye damage: conjunctivitis (purulent), keratitis, the cornea breaks up (ulcers appear on it). Inflammation of the iris, which can then go to the anterior chamber of the dog’s eye.
Although form and intestinal, pharyngitis / tonsillitis (tonsillitis) is recorded. Increased mucus production begins, so a sick dog begins to burp it. Vomiting first mucous, light yellow. Then an admixture of blood appears. But do not forget about diarrhea, which is first with particles of food, then mucus and blood appear. The smell is disgusting, often putrid
A skin plague in a dog is manifested as follows: red spots appear on the skin (mainly on the hips, auricles, in the mouth and nose, stomach), in the center of which a purulent or serous (but yellow) exudate is formed. Bubbles burst, and brown crusts on top. In the area of the joints, something like a keratinized skin seal appears - hyperkeratosis.
Plague of the nervous system in dogs is characterized as follows. A dog with a plague is very agitated, it can even be slightly aggressive. Convulsions are recorded. The muscles of the muzzle are involuntarily contracting, the feeling that the pet is tick. The same twitching is noted on the muscles of the abdominal wall, legs. Violation of coordination of movements can be added to the symptoms.
Excitement is replaced by apathy. Paralysis is recorded. Surely you saw dogs that drag their hind paw or jump on three. Yes, most often it is the hind legs that paralyze, as well as the sphincters of the bladder and rectum, so the animal ceases to control the processes of urination or defecation.
Already from the name of the form it is clear that the symptoms of plague in dogs can be very diverse. That is, the intestines, lungs, and nervous system are simultaneously affected.
Dog plague symptoms
How to identify plague in dogs? Do not try to do it yourself, trust the specialists. There are 5 main symptoms of carnivore plague in dogs:
- Photophobia (one of the very first signs of a dog's plague);
- Double rise in temperature (rise, then after a couple of days, normalization or a little higher than normal, and again fever up to 39 degrees and above) against the background of loss of appetite
- Or normal against a background of increased, even excessive appetite;
- Damage to the nervous system
If you notice at least 2 of these signs in your dog, you can suspect carnivore plague. If there are three symptoms, then the diagnosis is usually considered established. But it’s better to confirm with laboratory diagnostics (bioassay and various reactions). Blood tests are extremely rare.
It is important not to confuse it with other diseases that are characterized by similar clinical signs: rabies, leptospirosis, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus enteritis, Aujeszky's disease, pyroplasmosis, salmonellosis and some other parasitic diseases.
Dog plague treatment
If the veterinarian has determined that the dog has a plague, then it is necessary to begin treatment as soon as possible. First of all, you need to enter a specific serum, which contains ready-made antibodies to the pathogen. This will help your pet recover faster. Immunity will begin to "copy" antibodies as soon as it "understands" that they help. How to treat plague in dogs at home, read on.
In addition to serum, the veterinarian will prescribe immunomodulators and stimulants so that the immune system of the sick animal not only recovers, but also resumes its “work,” and again begins to produce antibodies. Do not be alarmed by antibiotics. Yes, they are useless in the fight against viruses, but they do not allow secondary infections to rage.
Each of us and our pets have microorganisms (bacteria) that are not active, that is, they do not cause disease, while the immunity is strong. But should he weaken, as soon as the disease of bacterial etiology develops. And we still wonder where, if you haven’t contacted anyone. It is for this reason that antibiotics are necessary so that the immune system is not distracted from viruses to bacteria.
Vitamins help maintain immunity. If there was vomiting and diarrhea, then restoring the water-salt balance are mandatory. They can be purchased at any pharmacy. The names are the most diverse: Regidron, and others. No need to solder the entire volume at once. For a little bit, literally a tablespoon, but every 5-10 minutes. If you pour all the prepared liquid through force, the dog will vomit. But if in small portions, then the animal will not react to this in any way, but you will not let your antennae die from dehydration.
You can see the current price of plague preparations in dogs and buy them right here:
No grandfather methods with vodka! No experimental folk quirks! The disease develops instantly, any of your delay and lack of proper treatment will lead to the death of a sick dog (out of 10 patients, only one or two survive because of strong immunity).
Prevention of Carnivore Plague
Prevention of plague in dogs is simple - vaccination. As soon as the puppy has been taken away from his mother, immediately deworm, and then after 2 weeks - vaccination. The plague vaccine is usually given at 2 months of age, then after 2 weeks it is necessarily repeated (this is necessary for the formation of immunity). Be sure to make notes in the pet's passport. annually “update” the vaccination so that the animal does not get sick. Here is very detailed about all vaccinations for puppies up to a year.
Can a vaccinated dog get sick with a plague? Of course yes! A vaccine is not a guarantee of protection against the disease, but the preparation and "training" of the animal's immunity so that it can more effectively resist the disease. As a rule, a vaccinated dog tolerates a plague much easier.
Avoid contact with stray animals. Limit contact with suspicious animals. If your friend or neighbor gets a dog with a plague, then refrain from joint walks for a few more months. Remember that for another 3 months, a sick dog can infect other animals. Carefully choose a place to walk. Do not allow your dog to sniff / lick feces, eat grass or drink from a puddle (all this can be a source of infection).
Still have questions? You can ask them to the veterinarian of our site in the comments box below, which will respond to them as soon as possible.