Canine Viral Distemper (CVD) is a disease classified as a pansystemic disease.
It is a highly contagious and viral disease of canines and other carnivores, that being said, depending on the strain of the virus, it varies in virulence from mild to fatal.
Although the name suggests it only effects dogs, CVD can effect cats as well as other carnivores such as ferrets.
Although the disease can infect pets of all ages, the most common age range is between 3 to 6 months of age.
CVD is a paramyxovirus that is one of a group of RNA viruses that are predominantly responsible for acute respiratory diseases, and are usually transmitted through airborne droplets. Most routine cleansing agents and disinfectants such as bleach can destroy the virus, including heat, in the environment.
CVD is transmitted through aerosolization of body secretions. The virus has several strains and varies in virulence from mild to fatal, which suggests that the severity will be dependent on the animals’ immune system.
Clinical signs of infection are usually associated with the presence of secondary infections, although encephalitis and other neurological signs may be caused by the direct effect of the virus on neurons.
-Mucopurulent nasal and ocular discharge
-Ataxia, circling, blindness
-“Chewing gum” seizures (clonus)
-Hyperkeratosis of foot pads
-CDV is the most common cause of seizures in dogs younger than 6 months.
Physical examination and history at your vets’ office, which may include a serology (rising titers in paired serum samples). FA test to detect the virus in epithelial cells that are collected from the conjunctiva (or other mucous membranes).
It’s also important to note that neurological signs can appear within weeks or even years after the actual infection.
According to AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), there are no cures for distemper, only a vaccination prevention program.
However, treatment typically consist of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections and mitigate symptoms such as control vomiting, diarrhea, and combat dehydration by administering fluids.
Although there is no cure for CVD, these natural remedies might help to assist the immune system;
If you notice any one of the above signs and symptoms, or suspect your pet has contracted distemper, seek veterinary assistance immediately.
What is this funny sounding word and why is it special enough to be included in our probiotic?
What is it and how does it work?
Larch is a special type of plant fiber (highest concentration in Larch tree bark) and a specific polysaccharide that ferments in the gut and colon, as it is resistant to digestion by enzymes in the upper GI tract and helps the good bacteria grow (such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillis acidophilus), while inhibiting the bad bacteria in the gut, which then produces short chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate.
This wonderful plant fiber has been traditionally used as natural medicine, not just for the benefit of the digestive tract, but it has been used for colds, infections, ear infections, and has been shown to prevent cancer cells in the liver from growing.
There are numerous studies published on Larch for immune health, one study published in 2016 has shown that larch, “…is capable of enhancing natural killer cells and macrophages as well as the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. In humans a clinical study demonstrated that larch arabinogalactan increased the body’s potential to defend against common cold infection. Larch arabinogalactan decreased the incidence of cold episodes by 23 %.”
The study cited also showed various objectives in the trial, including immune responses after vaccinations with blood serum levels tested showing immunoglobulin levels.
“The researchers demonstrated that the preparation selectively enhanced the antibody response to vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae and observed an increase in pneumococcal IgG antibodies of various pneumococcal antigens.”.
“These results taken together suggest that larch arabinogalactan can improve immunity by decreasing infections and improving immunoglobulin response following a standardized immune challenge. Doses used in these trials suggest that larch arabinogalactan may improve immune response at a dose as low as 1.5 g/d taken for several weeks; however, more consistent results have been obtained at a dose level of 4.5 g/d over several weeks. This was seen both on vaccine models and on infection-prevention models.”
Interestingly enough, larch is broken down and then absorbed through numerous pathways in the body, including GALT tissue (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue), and via portal veins, thus producing Butyrate, Acetate and Propionate in the body.
Larch can, similarly to other gut-fermented polysaccharides, potentially act indirectly through the microbiota dependent mechanisms i.e. rebalancing gut composition, which produces short-chain fatty acids, and/or have a direct effect on the immune system after passage from the gut lumen through the GALT.
An in vivo study on dogs showed that supplementing with larch arabinogalactin at an oral dosing for 10 days showed increase in the number of circulating white blood cell counts, namely neutrophils and eosinophils (a type of disease fighting white blood cell).
In conclusion, we have strong evidence showing how larch has its effects both directly and indirectly on the immune system, and its efficacy on the microbiome make it a fantastic prebiotic.
There are also studies showing its efficacy towards; asthma, liver disease and cancer, constipation, ear infections, flu and pneumonia.
No matter what your pets’ diet, supplementing with larch has its advantages, and we encourage you to try it especially if your pet is prone to digestive disturbances and immune challenges.
Matty’s Blend contains 490mg/scoop of Larch as well as other wonderful prebiotics!
Tip: Larch is amazing for our feline friends as well- Matty’s Blend can be safely administered to cats.
Lucy is an avid pet mom; with dogs, cats, goats and horses to keep her busy! All of her pet 'kids' are fed a species appropriate diet with proper supplementation so she can watch them thrive. Her expertise and experience lie in nutraceutical supplementation and is a health advocate for proper diet and nutrition. Her other passions in life are schutzhund and equestrian riding.