TitleChronic encephalomyelitis caused by canine distemper virus in a Bengal tiger.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsBlythe, LL, Schmitz, JA, Roelke, M, Skinner, S
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Date Published1983 Dec 1
KeywordsViral Vaccines

A chronic progressive neurologic disease was observed and monitored for 18 months in a young, tamed Bengal tiger. Clinical, serologic, and neuropathologic evidence of canine distemper virus infection was seen. Clinical signs included convulsions, myoclonus, and slowly progressive ataxia. Marked increases in neutralizing antibodies against canine distemper virus were seen in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Neuropathologic findings were nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, with perivascular cuffing, demyelination, and inclusion bodies typical of canine distemper virus. It was concluded that, in light of this case and an earlier report of canine distemper in lion cubs, vaccination of this subgroup of carnivores with a killed vaccine may be beneficial if exposure to other animals susceptible to canine distemper is anticipated.