This popular video, made viral by BBC, shows a stray dog in the street supposedly bobbing up and down to some music playing nearby. But is he really dancing, or is he sick?
Some who have seen this video think that this poor dog may be suffering from canine distemper, a condition that might compel the dog to involuntarily twitch. Sometimes this involves just one muscle, sometimes entire groups of muscles. This dog, unfortunately, looks like he’s just dancing to music to the untrained eye. But in actuality, he just may not have control of his motor skills.
In adult dogs, the death rate for canine distemper is less than 50 percent, which is still pretty high. The death rate for puppies, however, is even higher — veterinarians put the number at 80 percent. Visible symptoms that mark the beginning of the virus include loss of appetite, a fever, a runny nose and eye discharge.
If you think your dog or a dog you know might have distemper, the best thing you can do is to call your dog’s veterinarian or a local animal rescue shelter who can take them in and treat this horrible disease.