Thymic atrophy (shrinkage) in
Necrosis of lymphatic tissue
(inflammation of the gut) 7.
GIT (gastrointestinal) system
Increased CSF (cerebral spinal
Distemper viral body inclusions
in erythrocytes (red
lesions in an African wild dog with canine distemper. leukocytes (white
Hematoxylin and eosin staining.
inflammatory cells and cell debris.
B. Detail of A, showing multiple
eosinophilic intracytoplasmic viral inclusions (arrows) in bronchiolar
should be considered as a
diagnosis for any
febrile (feverish) puppy with multisystemic disease, with
neurological involvement (1).
Diagnosis must be made
on the basis of
vaccination history and clinical signs
and laboratory tests (2).
diagnosis may be confirmed by the following:
presence of intracellular inclusion bodies in leukocytes, conjunctival
vaginal imprints, bronchial cells, urine sediments, or CSF is
. Note, a
result does not rule out CDV infection (2)
Viral antigens (proteins) may be detected in certain tissues including:
vaginal imprints, tracheal
cells and epithelia (1). In this assay,
special proteins labeled with a
fluorescent chemical are used to detect and bind viral antigens present
in various tissue samples. As with histology, a
result does not rule out the possibility of CDV infection (2). Virus
is not available at most veterinary diagnostic laboratories (6).
The serological presence of a viral
specific IgM (antibodies) or an increased ratio of CSF to serum viral
indicate the presence of CDV infection (1).
antibody persists in dogs with distemper
for 5 weeks to 3 months, depending on virus strain and host response,
be evaluated using an ELISA test (6).
Serology itself is not considered
diagnostic for CDV as dogs may die without significant antibody
chronically infected dogs may have antibody levels comparable to
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a
technique that helps
identify viral nucleic acid. It is usually more sensitive than either
examination for viral inclusion bodies or immunofluorescence (2,6).
fluid (CSF) may be examined for
viral specific antibodies, interferon, elevated
levels of particular proteins and mononuclear cells
indicate the presence of the virus (2,6).
Blood work is often non specific and
non helpful in the
diagnosis of CDV. In some cases, early infection may produce a
white blood cell count). Leukocytosis (high
white blood cell count) may occur as the
infection progresses (2).
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) and
monocytosis (high monocyte count) may be found (6).
Radiography (X-rays), Ultrasound and
may be used to
nonspecifically diagnose pneumonia associated with CDV(2).
Differential diagnoses include
. Rocky Mtn.
Gastroenteritis: Giardiasis, Parvovirus, Coronavirus,
Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus)