Distemper is a condition where the pads on a dog's paws become hard, thickened and cracked. Primarily, it is a virus that often affects young dogs in towns and cities.
The virus is passed on through direct contact with urine, faeces (another reason to keep your dog away from other dogs' poos) and saliva. Droplets of the virus are released into the air and breathed in.
It infects the lungs, nose, eyes, skin, stomach and intestines. It results in sore, discharging eyes and nose, pneumonia, diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. In about half of the cases the nervous system is affected which results in fits.
If you do not seek veterinary treatment it will be fatal.