5. CANINE DISTEMPER (CDV)
Illness: This contagious and serious viral illness is a relative of the measles virus.
Symptoms: High fever, reddened eyes, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, lethargy, weight loss, persistent coughing, vomiting, diarrhea
Who's Affected & Why: Canine distemper is spread through the air and by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal, initially attacking a dog's tonsils and lymph nodes. If it goes untreated, it can progress into a neurological disease. CDV is most common among young, unvaccinated dogs.
How to Prevent & Cope: Treatment for this disease is limited. The mortality rate for CDV is 50 percent. That said, prevention is key. A canine distemper vaccine is considered a core vaccine by organized veterinary medicine. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent this illness. Other ways to prevent CDV is to keep puppies away from other dogs until they have finished their vaccination series and keeping pets away from wildlife or sick animals. (petMD)