Tag Archives: distemper

Canine Epilepsy

Canine epilepsy is a brain disorder much like the condition that affects humans. It is characterized by seizures and other physical symptoms that occur suddenly and on a recurring basis. So, what exactly causes this?

Canine Epilepsy

Cause

There are two types of epilepsy in dogs: primary and secondary. Primary or idiopathic epilepsy occurs for no known reason. Secondary occurs whenever an underlying reason for the condition to be found.



Serious infectious diseases like distemper can lead to the condition. A disease like hypothyroidism can also lead to seizures due to the detrimental effects it has on your dog’s liver and kidneys. Trauma to the head can also be the underlying cause.

Signs

There are various stages to a seizure due to canine epilepsy. In the first stage, your dog will exhibit changes in his mood or headaches. During the second stage, symptoms such as excessive salivation, whining, and nervousness are common.

The third stage includes the actual seizure. You will notice all of the muscle groups in your dog’s body increasing in tone. Canine seizures can last only a minute or so, up to three minutes in all. After the seizure is over, your dog will be left disoriented and confused. He may not response to you or other stimuli.

Diagnosis

As mentioned, the cause of seizures in dogs can’t always be determined. The vet will have to rule out medical and physical causes. If none can be found, then your dog is said to have primary canine epilepsy.

It is important that owners take note of the frequency and duration of the seizures. The frequency in which they occur after the initial onset can help determine what’s causing them. If they occur very frequently, then there is usually an underlying medical reason.

Treatment

If no underlying cause of dog epilepsy can be found, obviously no treatment will be successful. However, medications can be prescribed to help limit the severity of the seizures that your dog experiences. These medications can also help tone down the side effects of the condition.

It is vital that owners administer these drugs properly, especially since they can have harmful effects on the liver. If your dog ever stops taking them, it will need to be done on a gradual basis. If not, he may experience symptoms of withdrawal from the medication.

During an episode of canine epilepsy, there are things that you can do to help your dog through it. Never put your fingers near his mouth, or you may get bitten. Stroke and talk to your dog soothingly to help him relax.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a disease that attacks the intestines. The condition is caused by a highly contagious virus. Infected dogs shed the virus in their stool. Dogs can then become infected if they sniff or consume the infected feces. Dogs can shed the virus even if they show no symptoms themselves. The virus particles can also be spread to your dog via hands, shoes, and clothing. Other objects such as water dishes and food bowls can also harbor these particles.

Canine Parvovirus

Just because a dog is infected with parvovirus doesn’t mean that it’ll necessarily show any symptoms. The severity of the disease is dependent upon the dog’s age, environment, and overall health condition. Common symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, and depression. The stool may have blood in it also may have a very foul odor.



It is also possible for the virus to target the heart, although this is very rare. If it does occur, the dog will likely experience irregular heartbeats and other symptoms of congestive heart failure. It is also very likely that the dog will die.

In order to diagnose canine parvovirus, the vet will take note of any symptoms your dog is showing. Laboratory tests will also be conducted to detect the virus in the feces. It is possible that the tests come back negative since the virus is shed sporadically. Therefore it is best that any testing be done soon after signs of the disease first appear.

There is no specific cure for parvovirus in dogs. Therefore, treatment mainly consists of providing supportive care. To ward off any secondary bacterial infections, antibiotics will be administered. Intravenous fluids will also be given to prevent dehydration. Parasites commonly take advantage of your dog’s weakened immune system to infect him. Therefore, broad-spectrum deworming medication should be administered. Medications may also be necessary to keep control of diarrhea and vomiting.

Most dogs are capable of surviving a bout with canine parvovirus. However, very young puppies can very easily die from the disease. Even after recovery, dogs will be weak and be very prone to developing other diseases like distemper. Also, they will continue to shed the virus in their stool for weeks after recovery.

The virus that causes this disease is very hardy. It can withstand extreme temperatures whether they be hot or cold. It also won’t be destroyed by regular detergents, disinfectants, or alcohol. Therefore, it is vital to have your dog vaccinated against this disease.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a viral disease that can affect many different body systems. It can affect the central nervous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems of your dog. The disease, which usually affects young puppies, is most often fatal.

Canine Distemper

The virus that causes distemper in dogs is mainly transmitted through the air. After breathing the airborne particles in, your dog will become infected. Once infected, dogs can shed the virus through bodily secretions like feces and urine. They continue to shed the virus a few weeks after the symptoms of the disease have subsided. However, dogs stop shedding the virus after they have completely recovered from it.



As previously mentioned, the canine distemper virus can cause problems with the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems. Common symptoms include diarrhea, conjunctivitis, and vomiting. Dogs may also develop pneumonia and other symptoms of upper respiratory infection.

Loss of appetite, eye inflammation, and fever are also common signs that your dog is infected with this virus. If the central nervous system is infected, your dog will experience depression, seizures, and loss of motor skills and mental abilities. These are more serious signs of the disease.

Canine distemper can sometimes be hard to diagnose since other conditions can cause some of its same symptoms. A laboratory test will need to be done to confirm a diagnosis. There are various methods used to detect the virus and dogs that are affected will have low white blood cell counts.

Since distemper in dogs can cause damage to the intestinal lining, antibiotics may be given to prevent bacterial infections. Medications will also be given to help relieve diarrhea. If diarrhea leads to dehydration, your dog will likely need intravenous fluids.

There is a vaccine available to prevent infection by the canine distemper virus. It is best that all dogs are given this vaccination as part of the normal routine. Your dog may need to receive a booster shot every three years or so depending on the specific shot given.