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How long is a dog contagious with the distemper

Customer Question

How long is a dog contagious with the distemper virus? We are on day 26 and he is showing no neurological signs. He has had pneumonia and has been on antibiotics for that. How much longer should we expect the distemper to exist? Is there a normal timeframe?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  ask_me replied 8 years ago.


I'm sorry to hear that your dog is going through this. Distemper is contagious for several weeks after symptoms clear. There is not a set timeframe as the condition varies greatly from dog to dog. You can read more on it here Not all dogs with distemper will experience neurological issues. You 'll want to folllow up closely with your vet and recieve the go ahead from them before allowing him contact with other pets. Fortunatly dogs that recover from Distemper are not generally able to be carriers of the virus and often develop good immunity. You can read more on this here -Robyn

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply toCustomers Post: What is the average time for a dog with distemper? I know it isn't exact, but I am trying to get a rough time frame of how much longer this might be going on. We are on day 26. He is slowly improving from the pneumonia. He received daily shots of Baytril and a nebulizer treatment. He is regaining his appetite; therefore have not had to force feed him for two days.

I have not been able to find anywhere anything that tells about the normal time frame for the progression of the disease. I can find symptoms, causes, possible side effects....

I am hoping to find out just a general idea of time....
Expert:  ask_me replied 8 years ago.


There's not much listed on the progression of the disease as it is so different from one pet to the next. For example, some develop neurological issues, others do not. Some dogs have a stronger immune system and fight this off more quickly the others. The best bet for estimating recovery is to keep an eye on his symptoms and keep in frequent contact with your vet. To give you a very rough idea, I've seen dogs that have come around in two months time frame and others that have taken much longer The estimated time of his recovery will depend solely on his body. It's encouraging that he is begining to eat and I hope his recovery continues on the up and up. -Robyn

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Distemper can last for over two months? Active illness in the dog for that long?
Expert:  ask_me replied 8 years ago.


The symptoms of distemper can go on for weeks even with treatment. It's a difficult condition in that many dogs cannot recover from it. Those that are battleing it well have a long road to recovery. It's important to stay in touch with ones vet to see how the conditon is progressing, improving etc., so that a treatment plan can be altered to fit along the way.

I found the following link which has some more definitive timelines for you. You can try to have PCR testing done to get a better idea of if your dog is still shedding the virus. -Robyn

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