Springtime in Texas means warmer temperatures, more fun outdoor activities and unfortunately, a surge in parvo and distemper infections in animals. Irving Animal Services (IAS) is seeing an increase in sick raccoons, most likely caused by the distemper virus. Because distemper can infect pets, IAS reminds pet owners to take their pets to the veterinarian for a checkup and vaccinations. The only way to protect your pet against these deadly diseases is to make sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations.
What is Canine distemper?
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease primarily affecting dogs, skunks, foxes and raccoons, in addition to some other mammals. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. The disease is most often fatal, and those who recover may display permanent neurological damage. Distemper is spread similarly to how the common cold is spread, such as sharing water or food bowls, or through sneezing and coughing.
What is Canine Parvovirus?
Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs, with puppies being the most at risk. It most often affects the gastrointestinal system and if the dog is not treated quickly, the disease can be fatal. Parvo is prevalent in the environment and is spread through direct or indirect contact with infected feces - just walking or sniffing around could expose a dog to infection.
What should I do if I think my pet is sick?
If your pet is acting abnormally, or has any symptoms of being sick, take them to the veterinarian right away. Your pet’s best chance of surviving parvo or distemper may depend on it!
Symptoms of distemper can include sneezing, coughing, discharge from the eyes or nose, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting or diarrhea.
Symptoms of parvo can include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.