OUTBREAKS OF CANINE DISTEMPER RECORDED IN ARIZONA
In recent weeks several cities in Arizona have seen a rise in incidences of canine distemper. Flagstaff, Kingman, Parker, Lake Havasu City, and Quartzsite all report cases of the disease. This particular strain of the disease has the greatest impact on puppies, under the age of six months. Puppies that have been immunized for the disease may still fall victim to it’s’ effects.
Symptoms’ of the disease are:
1. Discharge from the eyes and mouth
3. Muscle and respiratory spasms
4. Loss of appetite
5. Rapid weight loss
The Western Arizona Humane Society is working with the University of Oklahoma to identify the strain of distemper since it only affects puppies. It is believed that this strain is being introduced by wildlife. To date, no incidence of the disease in cats has been reported.
Your best defense is to have your puppies immunized as soon as they are weaned. Be sure to keep your older dogs shots up to date. If your dog does begin to couch take it to the vet. The sooner the treatment is started the better chance the dog has to survive.
Roger D. Williams
Paw Power Animal Shelter, Quartzsite