Overview

Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by canine distemper virus (CDV). It may affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurologic systems and is generally transmitted through contact with mucous and watery secretions discharged from the eyes and noses of infected dogs. However, it can also be transmitted by contact with urine and other bodily fluids, so your dog may become infected without coming into contact with an infected dog. Air currents and inanimate objects can also carry the virus.

Distemper was a common infection in dogs many years ago, but the incidence has been significantly decreased through widespread vaccination. Canine distemper is now most commonly seen in young, unvaccinated or immune-compromised dogs. More than 50 percent of dogs that contract the disease die from it. Even if a dog doesn’t die, canine distemper can cause irreparable damage to the nervous system, leaving the dog with partial or total paralysis, seizures or persistent tics.

Diagnosis and Treatment Notes:

  • Distemper can be difficult to diagnose. A thorough history, physical examination, bloodwork, chest x-rays, evaluation of cells from the underside of the eyelid and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) taps may be performed.  The measurement of distemper antibody titers in the blood may also be recommended.
  • Treatment depends on the severity of the disease, your individual pet, and your veterinarian. Pets with distemper are treated with supportive care since there is no treatment that kills the virus. Affected dogs may receive fluids, antibiotics, seizure control medication, and medication to alleviate the various symptoms that develop. Discuss treatment details when your pet is diagnosed with this condition.

 

What to Watch for*:

  • Vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Involuntary muscle tremors or tics

* Please notify us if you notice any of the above signs or if you have any questions!

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.

 

Monday through Friday:

Walk Ins start at 10:00am, check-in starts at 9:00am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)

 

Starting Saturday, August 1st

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM

 

24 Hour Emergency Care:

 

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)366-3400

 

AVETS

4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA
(412)373-4200


VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)885-2500


Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue
(412)471-9855
WALK—IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM


North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd
(412)821-5600
WALK-IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

 

 

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