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Distemper in Dogs

Dr. Rakesh. M. Shinde

For many years canine distemper virus was the most feared of the viral diseases affecting dogs. Parvovirus may have surpassed it in this regard but it is still a deadly virus that kills dogs and other members of the canine family. Here we give the homeopathic treatment of this most feared disease affecting our pet dogs.

The advantages of homoeopathy are not the exclusive property of man. The animals, happily, share the blessings of this great gift of God to the creatures. The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield as promptly to homoeopathic medicines as those of man. In this article, we discuss the problem of distemper in dogs and its homoeopathic treatment.

Our useful domestic animals have too long been in the hands of ignorant men, who, under the pretense of understanding their diseases, inflict tortures upon the helpless animals. The treatment of the diseases and accidents of animals should be conducted on principles as humane and scientific as those applied to man, and therefore, our pets should be treated by homoeopathic mode which is the most ‘harmless’ and ‘sweetest’ method of cure. Our pets should no longer be subject to those tortures which are believed to relieve them of their pain.

The benefits of homoeopathy over other systems of medicine for our pets are many. It cures diseases and not palliate them with the humane nature of its cure. Everyone knows how horribly cruel all allopathic measures are. Firing, blistering and over-drugging a poor brute as sensitive to pain as man, are instruments of torture from which the mind recoils in disgust. If animals could speak, they would certainly express their gratitude for deliverance from the tortures of the other systems of medicine! Moreover,homoeopathic medicines are less expensive and the dosage is very small.

The collection of the materials for this work is carried out by obtaining practical and authentic information from the friends of homoeopathy who have sought and found relief for their suffering animals through the use of homoeopathic remedies.Canine distemper is a paramyxovirus which appears similar to the virus causing human measles. For many years canine distemper virus was the most feared of the viral diseases affecting dogs. Parvovirus may have surpassed it in this regard but it is still a deadly virus that kills dogs and other members of the canine family. It is also infective to ferrets, mink, weasels and their kin among the Mustelidae family as well as raccoons, pandas and other members of the Procyonidae family. Recently it is believed to be the culprit in the death of a number of African lions. Canine distemper virus is an RNA virus from the morbillivirus family. In humans, measles is caused by a member of this virus family. Distemper virus is more likely to affect puppies than older dogs. This is probably due to immunity acquired through vaccination or exposure to the virus naturally, leading to immunity. It can affect dogs of any age, though.

It causes variable clinical signs which makes ruling it out in a young sick dog a difficult process.

In some dogs a transient fever, perhaps accompanied by a lack of appetite or mild depression may be the only signs of onset of distemper. Other dogs are affected by a systemic illness with nasal and ocular discharges, coughing, fever, depression, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. It is not uncommon for dogs to have some but not all signs associated with this disease. Since the inapparent infections often go undiagnosed and the severe infections often are present in dogs who die from distemper virus. The mortality rate of canine distemper was always thought to be very high. Over time, it was recognized that a number of dogs were surviving the initial infection only to develop neurologic signs from one to a few weeks after infection. Seizures, behavioral changes, walking in circles and other ambulatory problems commonly develop. Many dogs who develop neurologic signs develop rhythmic motions or tics. These are known as chorea. Sometimes affected dogs appear to be chewing gum due to the steady contractions of the muscles of the head. Dogs that survive both the initial infection and subsequent neurologic disease may go on to develop retinal damage, corneal discoloration or extreme hardness of the skin of the nose or foot pads. The nose and foot pads of the young dog may become thickened, hence the nickname “hardpad disease.”

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