» Latest News » Potential dog distemper outbreak

Potential dog distemper outbreak

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 28/03/2014   Category: Latest News

A Veterinarian in North Powys has made an urgent call to all dog owners to have their dogs vaccinated as soon as possible after a large outbreak of distemper has emerged within the area. Distemper is a disease that any dog can contract if they haven’t been vaccinated and it can be fatal to dogs.Mark Overend of Cain Veterinary Centre in Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain has stated he has had several dogs brought into his surgery due to contracting the disease and unfortunately since December four of these dogs died.

The welsh Government have stated they are unaware of an increase of the disease across Wales however Vet Mark Overend said he has never treated so many dogs with symptoms for the disease within such a short amount of time over his 24 years of being qualified as a vet so clearly there is in outbreak in the area and if left untreated, this can spread across to other areas and become national.

Mr Overend stated, “There was a greater uptake of dog vaccinations after the parvovirus disease emerged in the 1980s which also resulted in a drop in the number of distemper cases. But vaccination levels have dropped due to complacency in the last few years which means that contagious diseases like distemper can spread amongst dogs again. The increase in distemper cases is very worrying and frustrating because although it is often fatal it is easily prevented by getting the dog vaccinated.”

Signs to look out for with your dog would be a fever and your dog being uninterested in food if they usually eat it straight away. They would then become either vomiting or having diarrhoea or both. As the disease worsens your dog may develop respiratory issues and these could be anything from a cough and runny nose to pneumonia so it’s really important you get your dog seen by a vet immediately as death could occur at any stage of this disease depending on your dog’s immune system.

The issue Britain now has is if this outbreak starts to spread it could become a nationwide issue which becomes harder to solve. If everyone ensures their pets get their vaccinations then this will help protect all of the dogs however there is still an issue as currently any dog can enter the UK without this vaccination and unfortunately this means it can be carried over to the UK. Vets would like to see this vaccine seen as a necessary step to protecting your dog by dog owners and as long as your dog is vaccinated, it will be safe.