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Is it Distemper?

November 26th, 2005, 01:54 PM
We had our newest puppy for about one week, rescued from a local shelter.
Of course he had all his regular vaccinations and was neutered before we picked him up. About 3 days ago he started coughiong and hacking, sometimes mucus coming up. Yesterday he actually sounded better but then this morning we noticed a slight discharge from his nose. We took Romeo immediately to the Vet and were told he either has a cold or distemper. Since then I have been reading a lot about distemper which is very scary, but I was also reading that dogs cannot really get so called colds. So now we are even more worried. He is on coughing pills and an antibiotic. We understand there is no real test for either he gets better or not.......Does anyone have more information about distemper or so called colds in dogs?

Really appreciate any help or info


November 26th, 2005, 01:58 PM
I'm not a vet so take this with a grain of salt but my first guess would have been Bordetella as it's very common in shelters and presents like a cold, hacking, sniffles etc.. It's viral but can result in pneumonia. It takes up to 6 weeks to go away.

November 26th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Ok, here goes a quote from my puppy book

"Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease, spread via body secretions. The virus may also be found on objects such as brushes, blankets and feed bowls. The incubation period is 14-18 days.
A dog with distemper may at first appear to have a mild cold with a slight fever, nasal discharge and malaise. As the disease progresses, the eyes and nose may develop pus discharge. Other signs are vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, coughing.
In later stages of distemper, there might be signs of seizures, muscle twitching, circling and blindness. The dog may act frightened and cry out as if in pain. The more severe the neurologic problems are, the poorer the outlook for recovery. Dogs that recover from distemper may have permanent neurologic problems such as musclae spasms and impaired vision.

Puppies may not develop adequate protectoin when first immunized against distemper because the antibodies they received from their mother interfere with their immune response to the vaccine. Because of this, puppies should receive multiple distemper immunizations between the ages of 6 and 14 weeks. Annual reimmunization is recommended for all dogs."

Not such good news is it. Hopefully your pup will recover fully. Good luck.

November 26th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Just a quick THANK YOU for the info I got so far :)

At this point all I can do is to give him his antibiotic and wait. Have been researching on the net a lot and found a few good websites. If you have the time please send a prayer our way for the little guy. He is a beautiful 10 week old Husky and even though we only had him for about 10 days my children and me couldn't bare anything happening to him.


Lucky Rescue
November 26th, 2005, 02:57 PM
I hope it's not distemper! Not much you can do, but very important to make sure the puppy doesn't get dehydrated. Make sure he's eating and drinking. If he will not eat or drink enough, get a big syringe at the vet and forcefeed water and food. Dehydration is a real danger and puppies can die rapidly from it.

Good luck with your baby and please let us know how he does.