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Canine Distemper

Image of two puppies laying in the sand.

Canine distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in bodily fluids of infected animals. The virus affects primarily the lungs, intestines, and nervous system.

Symptoms of the infection can include coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, inappetance, dehydration, weight loss, seizures, and encephalitis. Secondary infections can present as discharge from the eyes and/or nose, and pneumonia. Puppies, especially those from shelters, are at the highest risk.

Currently there are no antiviral medications to treat canine distemper. Treatment is aimed at controlling secondary bacterial infections with antibiotics and supportive care as needed. Vaccination aimed at preventing distemper is the best strategy. Puppies should be isolated from other dogs until they have completed their series of vaccinations at 16 weeks of age.


Office Hours


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


7:30 am-6:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm




  • "We have been Deschutes clients for years, but, this is the first time for overnight stay for Pepper and Mei-Mei. If it is possible they come home more spoiled than we have them. Thanks to the staff and doctors for taking such good care of us. Gabby, thanks for treating us like family!"
    Georgann M.
  • "This was my first visit to this veteran as my vet office closed. They were wonderful! They were very thorough with the information and cost and everything right up front which was very nice. And gave me everything I needed to know afterwards."
    Lori F.
  • "We have been going here for years the staff and Dr. Are amazing my friends and family also go here we would never change!"
    Sarah S.