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Cape dog owners urged to vaccinate beloved pooches against canine distemper as cases soar

Canine distemper (or ’hondesiekte’) is spread through direct contact or airborne exposure rather like the common cold in humans. Picture: Supplied

Canine distemper (or ’hondesiekte’) is spread through direct contact or airborne exposure rather like the common cold in humans. Picture: Supplied

Published Dec 9, 2021

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Cape Town – The Animal Welfare Society of SA has urged dog owners urged to vaccinate against canine distemper as a number of puppies and dogs are testing positive for this preventable virus.

Canine distemper (or “hondesiekte”) is spread through direct contact or airborne exposure rather like the common cold in humans.

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When an infected dog coughs, sneezes or barks, they release contaminated droplets into the environment infecting nearby animals and surfaces like food and water bowls.

The welfare group said that the number of puppies and dogs testing positive for this virus was on the rise again, adding that it was incumbent on all dog owners to help flatten the curve by vaccinating their pets.

“One could be forgiven for asking why the sudden increase and we strongly suspect this is due to pet owners allegedly making use of veterinary quacks who purportedly offer suspect vaccines for a discounted price,” the Animal Welfare Society of SA said.

Typical symptoms include:

  • High fever.
  • Eye inflammation.
  • Eye or nose discharge.
  • Laboured breathing and coughing.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Lethargy.
  • Hardening of nose or footpads.

Pet owners can prevent this from happening by:

  • Vaccinating their puppy or adult dog.
  • Vaccinations for puppies must be done from 6 to 8 weeks of age.
  • The full series of vaccinations must be administered and boosted annually.

The Animal Welfare Society of SA said good news for owners was that there was no need to make an appointment to have their pet vaccinated, and that dog owners would be assisted upon arrival.

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Cape Town dog owners who want to find out more are urged to call 021 692 2626 and ask for either Shannon or Savannah.

Cape Argus

Related Topics:

AnimalsVaccine

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