Canine Distemper

Reader Question:Canine Distemper

In a municipal shelter setting, where dogs are not allowed nose to nose contact, how contagious is distemper between dogs?

Vet Suggestions on Canine Distemper


Distemper is extremely contagious under the scenario that you describe. The virus is shed in large amounts in the respiratory secretions, saliva, and urine of an infected dog.

Direct contact between dogs is not necessary to spread the virus. An infected dog may sneeze or cough, spraying virus particles between kennels. Alternatively, viruses may be spread from dog to dog via contaminated cleaning tools, on shoes, etc.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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