CDV in dogs is still a threat to all dogs and it is still every bit as wicked and deadly as it always has been.
Puppies, young and non-vaccinated dogs, as well as immune compromised dogs, still run the risk of contracting this disease that has no known cure once your dog has it.
What makes it still so very dangerous is that it attacks your dog on literally every front of their body, and it is still extremely contagious.
Other than the vaccination that has slowed down this beast of a virus, it still kills over fifty percent of any dog that it attacks.
CDV in dogs, also known as canine distemper virus, is impossible to cure and is still very fatal to a majority of dogs that catch this wicked disease.
It is still found abundantly in wildlife and if you live anywhere near a wooden area, your dog still runs the risk of contracting this disease if their immune system has become impaired.
A puppy or young dog that has not yet been vaccinated also runs the risk of catching this disease from an infected dog or wild animal.
Once your dog has become infected, it literally attacks them on every part of their body.
Even though Parvo has been at the top of the list of concerns for deadly infections, this killer is still a very close second.
Once infected, it can harden your dogs paws as well as their nose, severely damage their teeth and also make it extremely difficult for them to breath.
It will also almost totally diminish their appetite, which places their immune system in ever more jeopardy.
But these are just the mild forms of attack, as it in almost all case also severely damages your dogs nervous system, and as a result will cause seizures and paralysis.
If your dog is lucky enough to survive this beast, they will most likely suffer seizures and nervous twitches for the rest of their lives, especially if their immune system becomes weak at all.
CDV in dogs is not quite as contagious as Parvo is, but it is a very, very close second.
In most all cases, it is passed by what is referred to as aerosolization, which is where this virus is spread by very small droplets from an infected animals breath or nasal secretions.
However, it does not just end there, as it can also be transmitted by any type of an eye discharge, as well simply coming into contact with infected urine or body fluids.
Air currents and inanimate objects such as a toy, a drinking or eating dish, and even a lease used on an infected puppy, can very easily transmit this virus.
The only real key to preventing this killer from attacking your dog is to have them vaccinated between the ages of six and sixteen weeks of age.
If your puppy has not yet been vaccinated, or has not has their full series of vaccinations, by all means keep them away from kennels or wild animals.
The worst place you could take your puppy would be to a pet store, as you have no assurances that they will not encounter an infected puppy from a puppy mill.
CDV in dogs is most dangerous to dogs between the ages of three weeks to six months of age, as well as any dog with a weakened immune system.
This virus is very similar to the virus that causes measles in humans, and the symptoms will generally come in different stages, much like the measles.
However, not all stages will occur in every dog.
The symptoms usually start with developments either in your dogs respiratory system, or their gastrointestinal tract; however, it could also be a combination of the two.
The first symptoms that you will see is usually vomiting and diarrhea, which is followed by a complete loss of appetite.
This is not a mild loss, as it will very quickly develop into anorexia. From this point the symptoms move into your dogs nervous system.
The next set of symptoms of CDV in dogs is usually a sudden lack of coordination that is very rapidly followed by muscle tremors or tics.
Muscle tics are very rapid movements that have no real purpose and are extremely repetitive.
As the nervous system is attacked further, your dog will become very weak and may become partially paralyzed.
But this killer is still not done with your dog. It also cases extreme hardening of their muzzle as well as their footpads.
From there it goes after the eyes, and if severe enough, your dog will start to lose their sight.
It also goes after their teeth, where is causes both discoloration as well as pitting to occur in both young dogs and weak dogs.
It is at this point that treatment for CDV in dogs may or may not work.
If the symptoms are severe enough and do not respond to therapy, it is recommended that the dog be euthanized as there is very little hope left.
This is where the reality of CDV in dogs fully sets in to the owner; there is no treatment available to kill this virus once it has infected your pet.
There where some claims about ten years ago about effective treatments, but they have never been fully documented or accepted.
This disease can be supported by therapy, but it is usually very progressive despite therapy.
Therapy will be used to both support and strengthen the immune system by nourishing your dogs body.
However, it is still only about a fifty percent success rate at best. Intravenous fluids will be used for dogs with severe gastrointestinal symptoms to replace the lost fluids and eliminate the hydration.
Antibiotics will also be used for any secondary infections, and anticoagulant therapy is used for dogs that are having seizure.
Diazepam and Phenobarbital are both drugs that are very effective in fighting seizures in dogs. However, there is no current therapy for the tics that are produced by CDV.
CDV in dogs is still a very real threat, but it is preventable if you have your puppy properly vaccinated.
Building your dogs immune system with nutrition and supplements during the early years is also extremely important in protecting against this virus.
However, the best thing you can do for your puppy or young dog is to keep them away from kennels, dog parks, and by all means, pet stores until they have effectively been fully vaccinated.
If you get a new puppy, a reputable breeder is the safest way to go, as well as adopting from a rescue shelter.
Most all rescue shelters are extremely reputable and the fee that you pay is to cover all of the vaccinations needed, including CDV.
Not only will you have saved a dogs life for a lifetime of joy for both of you, but you will be receiving a fully protected dog against this killer virus.