Treatment for Distemper in Dogs
Though it is seen much more infrequently today than every before, distemper in dogs is still a concern that pet owners should be aware of, and take steps to prevent. While there is much controversy over whether we are over-vaccinating our pets and causing them other problems, the fact remains, the reason for the drastic decline in diseases such as dog distemper is because of vaccinating. Whether or not you choose to vaccinate your dog for distemper, and how often, should be a decision made between you and your veterinarian, but an initial puppy series is still recommended, so there is at least some antibody development. In the unfortunate case that your dog does develop this virus, having antibodies even from just a puppy series will help. Also, it is good to know that there is a natural treatment for distemper in dogs as well.
What is Dog Distemper
Canine Distemper is a virus, meaning there is no infection to treat with antibiotics. Most vets use antibiotics to prevent secondary infections which are entirely possible, and even probable, but the base cause of the sickness is not affected by them. Just like when people get the flu, the only course that can be taken is rest and supportive care to ensure that energy requirements during this time of stress are met to keep the body strong enough to fight. Keeping the dog well-hydrated will usually be the most difficult part, and may require intravenous fluids, or at the least, subcutaneous fluids (fluid given under the skin).
Symptoms of Distemper in Dogs
Since distemper in dogs can very quickly become life-threatening once the dog distemper symptoms become apparent, it is important to begin supportive care as soon as possible. The virus attacks in numerous ways, affecting the gastrointestinal, respiratory and neurologic systems at the same time, so all of these body systems will need support. Diarrhea in dogs, coughing, and thick nasal and ocular discharge are the most noticeable symptoms of canine distemper, along with fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. It is the coughing and upper respiratory symptoms of distemper in dogs which usually lead to infection first. Once dogs begin to show neurologic signs such as loss of balance, uncontrolled body movements, jerking, or seizing, the virus is severe and the odds of survival are slim.
With this in mind, it is the upper respiratory system that needs the fastest and most aggressive protection, since the development of upper respiratory infection seems to be a major factor in the virus gaining stronger hold while the body becomes weaker in having to fight off yet another illness.
Natural Treatment for Distemper in Dogs
In holistic care, wellness is a way of life, and treating dog distemper and other viruses while already in peak condition is always best, but many times this is not how it actually occurs. Regardless, as with all other natural dog distemper remedies, concentration is focused on supporting and increasing immune function, since antibodies are the only defense against viruses. This could include any number of herbal and natural preparations known for their immune boosting abilities, as well as those which will support the GI and respiratory systems.
A natural dog distemper remedy called Vi-Pro Plus is available, and it is reported to work for the prevention and treatment for distemper in dogs as well as, if not better, than the distemper shot for dogs and conventional dog distemper treatments. It contains only three active ingredients – Bryonia, for upper respiratory health, Echinacea Purpurea, one of the most well-known natural treatments for colds and viruses and boosting immune function, and Distemperinum, a homeopathic, FDA-approved “nosode”, derived from the distemper virus itself (the same as the conventional canine distemper vaccination), but delivered in such a way that it aids immune response without causing sickness, or other potential immune-damaging results over time.
Those who have used Vi-Pro Plus – both as prevention, and during illness along with other supportive measures – report that it prevents just as well as any dog distemper shot, which offers much encouragement for those looking for safer, more natural methods to treat and prevent serious illnesses in dogs. Along with the monitoring of water and food intake, there have been very good results with this product thus far. As always, discuss any natural treatment for distemper in dogs with a veterinarian to ensure against any contraindications or potential adverse reactions.
Filed under: Common Conditions
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