Corticosteroids are also a useful for controlling allergies by reducing the inflammation in your dog’s skin. Although it will weaken the immune system a bit, it is often necessary in order to treat the allergy. Some side effects are increased appetite and drinking, and higher chances of developing infections. It is therefore not recommended for long-term use. If a longer duration of use is necessary, your pet has to have regular check up on his/her blood and urine.
Prednisone, a short-acting steroid, can be used orally and is safer than the long-acting steroids. Taken with antihistamines and Omega fatty acids and frequent bathing, these short-acting steroids can be used effectively in the least amount used.
An allergy injection, also called immunotherapy, is a series of treatments meant to produce immunity to substances your dog is currently allergic to. Skin and blood testing is performed to find out what substances causes your pet’s allergies. These substances then are given to your dog in small but increasing amounts via injections. Over a period of time, the dog becomes desensitized to the substances and no longer exhibits allergic reactions to them.
Finding out what allergies your pets are suffering from and the allergens that cause them may be a tedious, pain-staking process. But it is worth the effort especially as you see the relief you give your dog translate to a pet that’s in a better disposition and mood, perhaps in gratitude for the time you’ve spent to understand and take care of their ailments. Canine distemper is a serious disease caused by a highly contagious virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. The virus also infects foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons and other wild animals in the canine family. Juvenile dogs are most prone to infection. Older dogs can also be infected although with much less frequency.
More than 50% of dogs that acquire the disease die from canine distemper. An even lower 20% survival rate is present for puppies. And even if the dog survives the disease, it is very likely that its health will be permanently damaged.
A case of canine distemper leaves the nervous system impaired with little to no hope for total recover. Partial or complete paralysis is common as well as other effects on sense of smell, and hearing and sight acuity. Infected dogs are more prone to other diseases such as pneumonia. The canine distemper virus (CDV) is not transmissible to man.
Canine distemper virus is transmitted most often through getting in contact with mucous and discharges from the infected dogs’ eyes and noses. Exposure to the urine and feces of dogs with this infection can also cause it.
Even without coming in contact with infected dogs, a healthy one can still contract the disease through exposure to kennels and other areas where infected dogs have been in. These areas can still harbor the virus since it is airborne and can stay alive outside a host for long periods of time.
It is almost impossible to prevent your pet from exposure to the virus. Some scientists predict that every dog living for 12 months has had contact with the virus at one point in time.
The symptoms of canine distemper are not necessarily easily detected. And it is because of this that immediate treatment is rarely given. The disease is commonly disguised as something like a bad cold with most of the dogs with the infection running a fever and a stuffy head. Complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis and severe inflammation of the stomach and intestines can also develop from the disease.
What an owner should be on the look out for in watching for signs of distemper such as squinting and/or a discharge from the eyes. If this occurs in tandem to loss of weight, vomiting, coughing, nasal drips, and diarrhea, there is more cause for concern.
The virus then affects the nervous system in more advanced stages of the disease, which can cause nervous ticks and twitches as well as partial to complete paralysis. Infected dogs may also display listless behavior and have poor to no appetites. There have been cases when the virus causes sudden growth of the footpad’s tough keratin cells, which results in a hardened pad.