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UT Veterinarian Discusses Canine Distemper Virus

(September 5, 2013 Knoxville, TN) -- Section-chief of the Virology Laboratory at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center, Dr. Melissa Kennedy, answers some frequently asked questions about canine distemper virus. Click here to watch our canine distemper virus video on the UT Veterinary Educational TV channel.


What is canine distemper?

Canine distemper is a virus affecting dogs that is related to measles in humans. It cannot affect humans but causes a serious disease in dogs.


Where does it occur?

Canine distemper occurs worldwide and can affect wildlife, like raccoons and foxes, in addition to dogs.


How is it spread?

It is spread by close contact and aerosol spread. It is most common where dogs are housed together such as shelters, but can affect any dog.


What does it do?

It causes a severe respiratory disease, often with pneumonia, and can also infect the brain of some animals leading to death.


What can I do to protect my dog?

The most important action you can take is to make sure your dog is current on vaccines. There is a very effective vaccine to prevent disease due to canine distemper. It is important that all dogs be vaccinated against it.


Click here for the Canine Distemper brochure from the American Veterinary Medical Association.




Posted: 09-05-13 Viewed: 24658 times

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Sandra Harbison
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Tennessee
2407 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996

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