Dog - Distemper
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Dog - Distemper

Dog - Distemper


Dog - Distemper

Dog - Distemper.—This is by far the most common and most fatal among the diseases of dogs ; hardly any young dog escaping it; and of the few who do escape it in their youth, three-fourths are attacked with it; at some period afterwards : it being a mistake that young dogs only have it. It however generally attacks before the animal arrives at eighteen months old. When it comes on very early, the chances of recovery are very small. It is peculiarly fatal to greyhounds, much more so than to any other kind of dog, generally carrying them off by excessive scouring. It is very contagious: but it is by no means necessary that there should be contagion present to produce it; on the contrary, the constitutional liability to it is such, that any cold taken may bring it on: and hence it is very common to date its commencement from dogs being thrown into water, or shut out on a rainy day, &c. There is no disease which presents such varieties as this, either in its mode of attack or during its continuance. In some cases it commences by purging, in others by fits. Some have cough only, some waste, and others have moisture from the eyes and nose without any other active symptom. Moist eyes, dullness, wasting, with slight cough and sickness, are the common symptoms that betoken its approach. Then purging comes on, and the moisture from the eyes and nose from mere mucus becomes pus or matter. There is also frequently sneezing, with a weakness in the loins. When the disease in this latter case is not speedily removed, universal palsy comes on. During the progress of the complaint, some dogs have fits. When one fit succeeds another quickly, the recovery is extremely doubtful. Many dogs are carried off rapidly by the fits, or by purging; others waste gradually from the running from the nose and eyes, and these cases are always accompanied with great marks of putridity. In the early stages of the complaint give emetics; Jhey are peculiarly useful. A large spoonful of common salt, dissolved in three spoonfuls of warm water, has been recommended ; the quantity of salt being increased according to the size of the dog, and the difficulty of making him to vomit. While a dog remains strong, one every other day is not too much: the bowels should be kept open, but active purging should- be avoided. In case the complaint should be accompanied with excessive looseness, it should be immediately stopped by balls made of equal parts of gum arabic, prepared chalk, and conserve of roses, with rice milk as food. Two or three grains of James's powder may be advantageously given at night, in cases where the bowels are not affected, and in the cases where the matter from the nose and eyes betokens much putridity, we have witnessed great benefit from balls made of " friar's balsam," gum guaiacum, and chamomile flowers in powder: but the most popular remedy is a powder prepared and vended under the name of Distemper powder, with instructions for the use of it. Dogs, in every stage of the distemper, should be particularly well fed. A seton we have not found so useful as is generally supposed; where the nose is much stopped, rubbing tar on the upper part is useful, and when there is much stupidity, and the head seems | much affected, a blister on the top is often serviceable. Vaccination has also been found a valuable remedy for distemper. Safe and certain remedy for lice, &c. in dogs:—first, rub the animal thoroughly over with sweet oil before a fire; secondly, common soap and warm water, made into a strong lather on the dog, and left on him t for a day, will be sure to kill these j vermin, and they will be seen dead ; the moment after the soap touches ] them. The formica is a scurvy malady, i which very much affects a spaniel's 1 ears, and is caused by flies, and their i own scratching with their feet.

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.

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