Canine distemper

What is Distemper?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious, often fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of dogs.

Dogs become infected by airborne exposure (sneezing or coughing) from an infected dog or wild animal. All dogs are at risk but especially puppies under the age of four months.

Infected dogs develop nose and eye discharges, fever, coughing, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea. Neurological signs such as salivation, jaw champing and seizures can develop.

There is NO cure and treatment is only supportive. Many dogs die despite intensive care. Distemper is a heartbreaking disease and sadly, we see outbreaks of distemper every year in Hong Kong; many of them preventable.

Please vaccinate your pets and if you do buy a pet online or from a pet shop, please check it is from a reputable source and check your new family member has been vaccinated.

Call us at 2792 2206 to make an appointment for vaccination!

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About the Author

Dr Genevieve Touzel


Chief Veterinary Surgeon

At seven years of age, I was overjoyed when my parents introduced a mongrel pup, Marcel-Louis. He became my best friend. Realising how much I wanted to care for him and every other needy animal I could find, I decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.  There was never any other alternative. I was thrilled to be offered a place at The University of Melbourne Veterinary School. I graduated in 1999 and I embarked on an adventurous journey of all things veterinary. Over the last 21 years I have worked as a veterinarian in the United Kingdom and Australia with the last five years working in Hong Kong.

I have gained experience in mixed practice and small animal practice, dental, greyhound and equine practice. My work has also included working in emergency and critical care hospitals. Most recently I have held the position of Head Veterinary Surgeon at an SPCA branch practice in Hong Kong. I have completed post graduate studies in Emergency and Critical Care.  My passion for improving the quality of life in senior pets and practicing holistic medicine inspired me to pursue and acquire a board certification in Veterinary Acupuncture.

It is a privilege to be trusted with the care of someone’s beloved animal. After many years, I still love the way medicine evolves. Seeing the difference that preventative health care and treatment makes to the longevity and well-being of my patients is wonderful. It is a team effort. Working with families is also paramount in making a successful care plan. Every animal (and their humans!) are unique.