Distemper virus can be fatal and attacks several body systems including the respiratory and nervous system, it can also cause long term neurological problems. The first signs of this disease are often sneezing, coughing and a mucus from the eyes and nose, followed by fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, depression and weight loss. Distemper is sometimes called ‘hard pad’ because the pads of the feet of affected dogs become very thickened.
The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva, plus sneezing, coughing and sharing food or water bowls.
Sadly there is no known cure for distemper, the only treatment is to alleviate the symptoms. Even if a dog survives distemper there are often long-term effects such as muscle spasms, epileptic fits and even limb paralysis.