Canine Distemper Virus

By: Lizy Munoz

Background Info

Other Name(s): Hardpad Disease

Characteristics: It's an rna virus from the morbillivirus family which is in the same family that causes the measels in humans

Who it affects: It affects dogs and other canines, the Mustelidae family (weasel, otter, ferret, wolverine), the Procyonidae family (raccoons, kinkajous, ringtails), can affect pandas and big cats (lions)

Viral or Bacterial: It is a Viral disease

How is it spread?: through urine and feces, through air since It is an airborne disease


  • high fever
  • eye and nose discharge
  • eye inflammation
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • loss of energy
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble breathing
  • coughing
  • hardening of the footpads & nose

How is it diagnosed?

It is diagnosed once the animal shows the basic symptoms and is confirmed when blood work is done also a brush border slide of the inner lining of the bladder stained with diff-quick if a dog has a stage of distemper the slider will be tinted red

Cure? Prevention?

There is no cure but there is treatments available

  • antibiotics
  • iv fluids
  • anti-seizure medication
  • steroids

It can be prevented by giving the animal a vaccination against the virus, also by maintaining a clean environment around the animal

Long lasting signs

Since there is no cure only treatment CDV causes long lasting symptoms/signs

  • it causes neurological damage that cause the animal to be disoriented
  • have "tics"
  • seizures
  • can cause them to be paralyzed
  • eyesight and coordination reduction
  • deterioration of mental ability and motor skills
  • enamel hypoplasia

Most animals are humanely euthanized because of immense pain the animal goes through