distemper

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distemper,

in veterinary medicine, highly contagious, catarrhal, often fatal disease of dogs. It also affects wolves, foxes, mink, raccoons, and ferrets. Distemper is caused by a filtrable virus that is airborne; it is also spread by infected utensils, brushes, and clothing. Symptoms are high fever, apathy, and lack of appetite with resulting dehydration and loss of weight. The respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts become involved, and there is vomiting and diarrhea. A dog may recover from the above signs and then develop nervous complications, i.e., convulsions, localized muscular twitches, weakness, and paralysis. Distemper in dogs can be controlled by immunizing each animal as early as possible with a modified live-virus vaccine.

distemper

[dis′tem·pər]
(veterinary medicine)
Any of several contagious virus diseases of mammals, especially the form occurring in dogs, marked by fever, respiratory inflammation, and destruction of myelinated nerve tissue.

distemper

A paint containing earth pigments, calcium carbonate, tinting colors, glue size, or casein, mixed with water; tempera.

distemper

1
any of various infectious diseases of animals, esp canine distemper, a highly contagious viral disease of dogs, characterized initially by high fever and a discharge from the nose and eyes

distemper

2 Art
1. a technique of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water, glue, size, etc., used for poster, mural, and scene painting
2. the paint used in this technique or any of various water-based paints, including, in Britain, whitewash
References in classic literature ?
If I had been ill of no other distemper, I know the proverb too well to have let him come to me.
I smiled and said, 'No, indeed, sir, that's none of my distemper.
But in the middle of all this felicity, one blow from unseen Providence unhinged me at once; and not only made a breach upon me inevitable and incurable, but drove me, by its consequences, into a deep relapse of the wandering disposition, which, as I may say, being born in my very blood, soon recovered its hold of me; and, like the returns of a violent distemper, came on with an irresistible force upon me.