Does distemper seem to go away sometimes?

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Does distemper seem to go away sometimes?

This is a discussion on Does distemper seem to go away sometimes? within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, A couple of weeks ago my dog Denise started to cough. At first I imagined she was choking on something and I checked her ...

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Old 03-14-2018, 10:11 PM
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Does distemper seem to go away sometimes?


A couple of weeks ago my dog Denise started to cough. At first I imagined she was choking on something and I checked her throat. Before this she had been reverse sneezing which I kinda ignored since I read that this can sometimes happen in dogs but go away. I had noticed her appetite decrease a bit but since she had previously been hesitant to eat dog food vs house food I figured she was just being picky. Eventually the kennel cough kept going and her appetite decreased to where she wouldn't even eat the things she normally loves. This is where I began to get worried. Next day after I noticed this she woke up clearly with very low energy and not her usual self. She is usually highly energetic and turns the house upside down. Didn't seem to want to eat or drink and didn't seem to want me to approach her. I checked her temp with an IR thermometer on her belly and it was around 104 105 Fahrenheit. A few days before all this I had noticed a bit of discharge from her left eye. As the symptoms got worse I also saw nasal discharge. By the day where I truly noticed her to be without energy and sick her breathing seemed forced.

This is when I took her to the vet. The vet seemed pretty convinced of what I was fearing, that she had distemper but did not confirm unless I wanted to do a test. I turned down the test since we all seemed fairly convinced it was distemper and opted instead to use the money towards giving her medications to calm down her fever and her breathing etc.

Immediately after the doc injected her she came home wanting to eat. Still wouldn't eat dog food but was at least back to eating something after days of not eating. After 4 days of the antibiotics the doc gave her she seemed to return back to normal except for some mild accelerated and forced breathing which went away the day after that.

Now she is seemingly at 100% again. Has more energy than ever, has a ferocious appetite which is better than what it was before she got sick. Now she wolves down dry dog food like never before, is playful etc. She has been this way for a week, not a single symptom save for an occasional sneeze which dogs seem to do on occasion anyway. I asked the vetenarian's assistant if after a week of good signs it was enough to give the green light and he said that it's still too early and that dogs can remain infectious for up to 4 or 5 months. I read that the next stage of the disease is neurological issues which I'm not seeing at all.

What I want to know is if it's normal for a dog to show a seemingly good recovery for up to a week and then end up progressing onto the later stages of the disease anyway. She's been at least about 2 weeks into the infection starting from when I first noticed her coughing. She lasted about a week of the symptoms and so far about a week of this recovery. If you count the reverse sneezing she had prior to the kennel cough then it's probably more like 3 weeks total. So far I see no neurological signs.

I have no idea if she has been vaccinated against distemper. I got her vaccination card from the previous owners and the ones there don't indicate a distemper vaccination but there is one vaccination that says "multiple vaccination" with no specification as to what those vaccinations for. I am in the process of attempting to contact this veterinary office to see what they can tell me about this multiple vaccination. She received these vaccinations about a year ago save for the multiple vaccination one which was august 2017. I'm just hoping this multiple vaccination thing included the distemper vaccine and that what she got was something else or a milder course of the disease with vaccination.

I would appreciate your input. Thanks a lot.
Tolteca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2018, 11:44 PM
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without testing, it's all sort of moot. But many dogs do survive distemper, at least if kept on antibiotics long enough and supported through their respiratory illness... if it develops on to neuro signs the prognosis worsens dramatically. However, there are MANY conditions that can cause a cough and fever that are NOT distemper... and dogs that have been well vaccinated are rarely affected... and dogs that over a year of age and have at least a few vaccines are rarely affected, either. Distemper is nearly exclusively a disease of puppies, or adults that have never been vaccinated. Not sure what your dog had, but doesn't sound like distemper to me. Glad she's better.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:50 AM
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I didn't have internet for a while. Apologies for not replying.

It's been 2 more weeks and at one point a few days ago she had the boogers running out of her nose again however she got over it after a day or two. Ocassional sneezing and reverse sneezing but no other apparent signs of the disease. Her temperature also seemed up the other day but that may have been due to the hot weather and being out in the sun.

Still seems cheery and full of energy as well as with appetite.

I realized that on her vaccination card the part that it says "multiple" is under "appointments" which I'm thinking means she was schedule to be vaccinated then but may have not been taken (doesn't show any vaccines past January of 2017 except for the multiple note that is dated august 2017.
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