Distemper epidemic: vaccinate your dogs

2008-06-02 00:00

The Pietermaritzburg SPCA yesterday warned that they have seen cases of distemper in areas not far from the city.

This follows a warning they issued last week of a Distemper (Hardpad Disease) epidemic in and around Richmond.

SPCA spokeswoman Maureen Vida said the epidemic in Richmond has reached “alarming proportions” and could spread and eventually impact on the pet population in other areas, including Pietermaritzburg.

“Already the clinic at the Pietermaritzburg SPCA has dealt with a few isolated cases from areas in fairly close proximity to the city,” said Vida.

She said the disease, usually fatal for dogs, is caused by a virus and is transmitted from dog to dog via direct contact or droplet infection, mainly by dogs sneezing.

“Affected dogs usually show an increase in temperature, pus will often dribble from the nose and the pads of the feet and skin of the nose may become thick and cracked. Skin and muscle twitches and convulsions are often noticeable. The course of the disease may be as short as 10 days, but can, in some cases, last for months.”

She said that although there is no risk to humans, the disease invariably proves fatal for dogs, and treatment, even if administered in the early stages, is usually unsuccessful.

“Prevention is far better than cure. If your dog’s annual vaccinations [part of the annual 5 in 1] are up to date it should be adequately protected … All pups should be vaccinated at six weeks, a booster given a month later, and then annually.”

Vida cautioned that the rabies vaccine will not protect dogs against distemper.

“As it is not a state controlled disease, the state vet or stock inspector will not vaccinate your dogs against distemper. It is the responsibility of every caring dog owner to ensure that their pets’ vaccinations are up to date and especially in view of this epidemic … This essential annual vaccination is obtainable at your local veterinary practice.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.