I saw a post from a woman who had to put her dog down because of being unaware of the risk of distemper. She wanted other Capital Region dog owners to be warned and to know how to protect your pet!

According to the OP on Reddit, there is a distemper virus in Albany. PetMD describes distemper as "a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure." It attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs. This is the season to socialize your dogs but distemper is an airborne virus. Before you have to worry about the risks of this virus, make sure your dog is up-to-date on their shots, specifically the distemper booster.

Puppies are the most at risk so if your dog is under 4 months old, it's not recommended to socialize your dogs in an open-air park setting. The woman on Reddit mentioned that she had to euthanize her dog because of the distemper and that the vet mentioned an outbreak, it is the 5th case she'd seen and that the same is spreading in Syracuse.

If you're worried about your dog, the AVMA broke down some symptoms to look for and if you see some of these symptoms, bring your dog to the vet. There is no cure so the best way to fight distemper is to get your dog vaccinated before they come in contact with the virus:

Initially, infected dogs will develop watery to pus-like discharge from their eyes. They then develop fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and vomiting. As the virus attacks the nervous system, infected dogs develop circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions with jaw chewing movements and salivation (“chewing gum fits”), seizures, and partial or complete paralysis. The virus may also cause the footpads to thicken and harden, leading to its nickname “hard pad disease.”

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