Science Dictionary
distemper   (dĭs-těm'pər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. An infectious disease occurring especially in dogs, caused by the canine distemper virus of the genus Morbillivirus. It is characterized by loss of appetite, a discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, fever, lethargy, partial paralysis caused by destruction of myelinated nerve tissue, and sometimes death.

  2. An infectious disease of cats caused by the feline panleukopenia virus of the genus Parvovirus, characterized by fever, vomiting, diarrhea leading to dehydration, and sometimes death.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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