There are a number of bacterial and viral illnesses that can make your canine companion very sick, and many of these diseases are prevented by the annual vaccinations that are recommended by your veterinarian.
Parvovirus, rabies, and leptospirosis are examples of diseases that often make headlines, but distemper is a particular illness that is not discussed as frequently.
Canine distemper belongs to a class of viruses known as paramyxovirus. It affects other members of theCanidae family like wolves and foxes, as well as ferrets, raccoons, and skunks. Distemper starts out as a respiratory illness but can eventually spread to other parts of the body and cause gastrointestinal and neurological problems.
There is no cure for distemper, and treatment mostly consists of supportive care. It can cause lifelong problems and can even be fatal. For these reasons, the distemper vaccination is considered to be a core vaccination alongside others for rabies and parvovirus.