Clinical Signs


Young animals and non-immunized older animals are more susceptible to distemper virus; there are no breed predilections.  

Infected neonates often develop fatal disease by four to six weeks of age.

Fetuses may become infected in-utero in antibody-negative bitches which may lead to abortion or persistantly infected animals.

Clinical Signs:

  • Sneeze
Diphasic fever beginning 3-6 days after infection

Leukopenia early in infection

Coughing, sneezing, dyspnea

Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Nasal and occular discharge

  • GI catarrh*

  • Respiratory catarrh*
  •     -*Catarrh is inflammation of a 
  •       mucous membrane
  • Hardpad
  • Hyperkeratosis of footpads and nose
  •         -Not as common in current strains

  • Excessive salivation
  • Teeth
  • Secondary bacterial infection

Anorexia and depression

  • Enamel hyperplasia of teeth
  • Hardnose

  • Central nervous system signs due to demyelination
  •         -Myoclonus, seizures, depression   
  •         -Paresis, paralysis, incoordination 
  •         -Ataxia, muscle tremors
  •         -Meningeal signs of hyperesthesia
    •         -Cervical rigidity
    •         -"Old dog encephalitis"
    •               -Visual defects
    •               -Circling, head pressing