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1550s, from distemper (v.); in reference to a disease of dogs, from 1747.
distemper dis·tem·per (dĭs-těm'pər)
An infectious viral disease occurring in dogs, characterized by loss of appetite, a catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, partial paralysis, and sometimes death.
A similar viral disease of cats characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.
Any of various similar mammalian diseases.
viral disease of cats, kittens two to six months old being most susceptible. Highly contagious, it is caused by a parvovirus that is closely related to canine parvovirus type 2. About 3 to 10 days after exposure to the disease, infected kittens cough and sneeze, have running eyes and nose, are feverish, lose their appetites, vomit, and have diarrhea. The number of white cells in the blood drops severely. The disease rarely lasts more than a week, but the mortality rate is high. An antigen test is available, as are vaccines that offer effective immunity