How long does distemper last in a house?

How long does distemper last in a house - the answer here

Distemper in dogs, Carré’s disease or canine distemper it is a disease that is known worldwide but difficult to treat. It is highly contagious and dangerous, as it can cause the death of the animal in a short time. Thus, it is very important to be well informed about how it is spread and how many hours the virus can be active outside the body, that is, in the environment. Only with vaccination and this knowledge can we prevent other dogs in our care from becoming infected if there is already one affected.

At oneHOWTO we want to help you to be well informed about these aspects so that you can take better care of your furry ones. For this reason, in this article we give you the answer to how long does distemper last in a house and in this way you will know when you can get your pets together again or bring new animals to your home.

What is canine distemper and how is it spread

The canine distemper or distemper it is a viral disease that produces a virus, Paramyxovirus of the genre Morbillivirus. It is one of the most contagious dog diseases, especially among puppies with still developing immune systems. Not only do dogs suffer from it, as other mammals can suffer the effects of distemper, such as otters, skunks, foxes, wolves, etc. This serious condition, also known as Carré’s disease, is very common in puppies and dogs with a poor or depressed immune system. It produces a wide clinical picture of symptoms, so at first it can be confused with other conditions. In addition, it is a disease that causes the death of a high percentage of the animals that become infected, for this reason the best thing is to prevent.

Distemper in dogs is spread through direct contact of a healthy dog ​​with another that contains the virus and suffers from the disease, to a greater or lesser degree, as well as with materials contaminated with this virus, be it urine, feces, blood, saliva, the water that the animal drinks or other fluids. Or, you can get indirectly through the air, since the virus can live outside an organism, in the environment, or even if it adheres to our clothes or other objects and then these come into contact with a healthy dog.

You may also be interested in knowing the answer to a common question among those who find themselves in this situation with their faithful companions: Is distemper from dogs contagious to humans?

How long does distemper last in a house - the answer here - What is canine distemper and how is it spread

How long does distemper last in the environment

Regarding the main question raised at the beginning of the article, there are studies that have verified the answer and below you can see in the bibliography the veterinary study that we have consulted.

The first thing to keep in mind is that the distemper infected dogs they are contagious even 4 months after recovering. Therefore, even if a dog has overcome the disease, during these months its fluids and everything it touches will spread the virus.

However, if the affected dog is taken to another controlled area outside the home, such as a veterinary hospital, then the home can be free of the virus, thus preventing spread to other pets. But, to bring home a pet that has had to move home for a few days when the disease is detected in another animal in the family, it is necessary to know exactly how long the distemper lasts in the environment, so as not to run anymore risks.

Specifically, the distemper virus lasts a few hours in the environment, outside the body, at medium temperature. It should also be ensured that it disappears from the house by disinfecting the floor and the entire environment that may have come into contact with the affected dog, be it walls, furniture, fabrics, carpets, blankets, beds, toys, feeder and water trough, leash and necklace, etc. It is best to use common disinfectants such as bleach, but it is equally important that the rooms are well ventilated, dry, and that the objects also dry and better still in the sun’s rays, outdoors.

In this way, we ensure that the canine distemper virus will disappear in a few hours, however it is advisable to wait at least 24 hours before reintroducing animals into the home to be more sure of avoiding the risk of contagion.

How long does distemper last in a house - the answer here - How long does distemper last in the environment

Symptoms of distemper in dogs

It is vital to recognize the symptoms of canine distemper or distemper because it is necessary go immediately to the vetAs soon as we detect any of these, it is not necessary that many of them occur.

  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ataxia
  • Seizures
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reddened skin and rashes
  • Hardening of the pads

In this other oneHOWTO article we reveal more details about How to know if my dog ​​has distemper.

How to treat a dog with distemper

Canine distemper does not have a specific treatment and direct, but there is medication for relieve symptoms and, in this way, help the organism to pass the virus cycle and be more likely to survive, by developing defenses such as antibodies to the specific virus.

Among the medications that veterinarians usually give in these cases we find vitamin supplements, antibiotics to treat secondary infections, antiemetics to stop vomiting, antipyretics for fever and other medicines to treat the specific symptoms that exist in each individual case.

Another question that many people have is about what the life expectancy of a dog is, since as we have said before it is a fatal disease. A) Yes, How long does a dog with distemper last? The truth is that it is not known exactly because it depends on the previous state of health of the animal and how advanced the problem is when it is detected and the symptoms begin to be treated.

For this reason, the sooner the distemper is detected and treatment is started, the better life expectancy the dog will have and, even, it can even prevent it from reaching advanced stages in which parts of the nervous system have been damaged and are irreversible damages .

How long does distemper last in a house - the answer here - How to treat a dog with distemper

How to prevent distemper in dogs

As the treatment is so complicated and is not direct about the virus, but only tackles the symptoms and helps the body to deal with said virus, the best is always avoid contagion of canine distemper. Therefore, the best option to avoid problems with diseases of this type, among which are the most common diseases in dogs, is specific vaccination. Thus, to prevent distemper in dogs it is necessary vaccinate between 6 and 8 weeks of age, apart from applying the annual reminder or reinforcement. It is vital that you do not let your furry be in contact with other animals or walk on the street or go out into the field until he has the minimum necessary vaccinations.

Of course, if you are in contact with an infected dog, it is vital that you do not let yours have contact with them and that you wear different clothes and footwear and disinfect yourself every time you leave the area where those affected are to avoid that you carry the virus with you.

If you want to read more articles similar to How long does distemper last in a house – the answer here, we recommend that you enter our category of Pets.


  • Frequently Asked Questions About Canine Distemper. The Ohaio State University – College of Veterinary Medicine.