Will dogs infected with CDV definitely die?

Canine distemper is a highly infectious viral disease that affects dogs worldwide. It’s caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV), which is closely related to the viruses responsible for measles and rinderpest. Here are some key points about this disease:

  1. Clinical Signs: Dogs infected with distemper exhibit a range of symptoms:
  • Systemic Signs: These include fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
  • Respiratory Signs: Nasal discharge and pneumonia are common.
  • GI Signs: Diarrhea and inappetence may occur.
  • Neurologic Complications: Some dogs develop muscle twitching, focal or generalized seizures, which can be delayed¹.
  1. Transmission: The virus spreads mainly through aerosol droplets from infected animals. Infected dogs may shed virus particles for several months.
  2. Pathogenesis: After initial replication in the lymphatic tissue of the respiratory tract, the virus causes a cell-associated viremia. This leads to infection of various tissues, including the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urogenital epithelium, as well as the central nervous system (CNS) and optic nerves. Disease severity depends on the extent of specific humoral immunity during the viremic period.
  3. Prognosis:
  • Survival: About 50% of infected dogs will die from the disease.
  • Immunity: Dogs that survive develop lifelong immunity to CDV.
  • Neurologic Damage: Survivors often have permanent, irreparable nervous system damage²³.
  1. Diagnosis: Veterinarians recognize clinical signs and confirm the diagnosis through antibody assays or reverse transcriptase PCR.
  2. Treatment: There is no specific antiviral treatment for distemper. Supportive care is essential. The prognosis varies based on the severity of neurologic signs.

In summary, while not all infected dogs will definitely die, canine distemper remains a serious and potentially fatal disease. Vaccination is crucial for prevention, and early detection is vital for managing affected dogs¹²⁴.

Here is our CDV rapid test kit, https://www.ringbio.com/solutions/pet/canine-distemper-virus-antigen-test-card

(1) Canine Distemper – Generalized Conditions – Merck Veterinary Manual. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/generalized-conditions/canine-distemper/canine-distemper.
(2) Canine distemper | American Veterinary Medical Association. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/canine-distemper.
(3) Canine distemper virus – Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments/riney-canine-health-center/canine-health-information/canine-distemper-virus.
(4) Canine Distemper | Cornell Wildlife Health Lab. https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/disease/canine-distemper.
(5) Distemper in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/distemper-in-dogs/.

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