LOCAL ALERT: We have an outbreak of Canine Distemper in Tulsa, OK
What is it?
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can also be carried by ferrets, skunks, and raccoons. It is a virus, so there is no direct treatment widely available to dogs, so prevention is the key to this potentially-deadly disease. Currently, there is an outbreak most noticeable in found and shelter animals but those that are unvaccinated are also at risk! If it is an outbreak in our domesticated dogs, you can guarantee that it is spreading in the local wildlife!
What does it do?
This is a virus that can show up in a variety of ways. It most commonly presents itself as a respiratory disease causing coughing, sneezing, thick yellow mucus crusting on the face, and fever. However, it can also cause diarrhea, vomiting, and even seizures, especially in puppies.
How do we treat it?
The best treatment for this outbreak is in prevention of the spread. Distemper is easily avoided by vaccinated your dog with standard yearly vaccines. However, if they do contract the disease, our care is supportive. Anti-virals are not widely available in our pets, so we support with hospitalization, fluids, antibiotics to safeguard against concurrent infections, and intensive nursing care. We also treat symptomatically for vomiting, diarrhea, and seizure activity.
What should I do if I see symptoms?
The first step is to isolate the affected dog from all other dogs in the household. If you see sneezing and coughing, do consider that it may be allergies or another respiratory infection. Don’t panic. With that being said, it is highly recommended that your pet be evaluated by a licensed professional. GI symptoms such as vomiting and/or diarrhea are also common symptoms of other conditions however, if these symptoms persist, please take your pet in to your primary care veterinarian.
If Fido begins seizuring, it is an emergency. Please drive to the your primary care veterinarian or emergency hospital as soon as possible. Animal Emergency Center and Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists are right here in Tulsa and both take spectacular care of sick pets.
Animal Emergency Center
Address: 4055 S 102nd E Ave
Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists
Address: 1501 W 78th St S
How did this happen?
Canine distemper was previously see worldwide until the conception of our distemper vaccination. It is now much less common than it was in the 1970s however, with the shifting perspective regarding vaccinations, this canine killer is back. This disease can be prevented simply by vaccinating your pets. That is the only way to keep our canine friends safe and healthy.