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Does My Dog Require A Distemper Vaccination?

Does My Dog Require a Distemper Vaccination?

The Canine Distemper Virus is a contagious virus of dogs, ferrets, skunks and raccoons, spread by direct contact that is almost always fatal – affecting the Nervous, Gastrointestinal, and Respiratory systems.  Distemper can be spread over short distances by coughing or sneezes as well.

The Distemper Vaccines used by many veterinary practices in Canada are approved for three-year interval use and, when used in a rotation with Parvovirus and Rabies vaccination – have a profound and positive effect on your dog’s health.

In Nova Scotia, Distemper shows up primarily in our racoon population as recently as late 2013 in the Mount Uniacke area, and is seen so often that posters remain up in Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia!  The apparent clinical signs of this virus vary from obvious eye and nose discharges in wildlife, progressing to seizures – but in addition to these signs, in our dogs we see vomiting and diarrhea that rapidly progress to those signs outlined above.

While a dog that contracts this virus will have life-long immunity, that dog will also suffer from seizures, twitches (chorea), and general poor health.  Treatment is directed at supporting the pet through the seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and secondary bacterial infections that occur.  Unfortunately, the rate of recovery is very poor.  This virus is not infectious to people and is NOT related to the Feline Distemper Complex Virus we also vaccination our Cats for.

Please make the time to review the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines here –, and you can see where the three year core vaccination protocol used at Sunnyview Animal Care is derived from.

The Team at Sunnyview Animal Care, (your Bedford Veterinarian) hopes this helps you and your dog on your journey together in the best possible way!

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