KNYSNA NEWS - Distemper, which is a fatal disease in dogs, has broken out in Knysna – and this is a new strain which is even more dangerous.
This was confirmed by Retha Havenga, manager of Knysna Welfare Society (KAWS), on Thursday 10 May.
The disease has apparently reared its head in Hornlee, Charlie Lawack Street.
KAWS has asked that the community be vigilant should their animals become unwell, but also make sure that dogs are vaccinated against distemper.
Is your dog vaccinated annually against this?
“Dogs that are not vaccinated that come into any kind of contact with an infected animal carry a particularly high risk of contracting this deadly disease.
"Please make sure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date.
“The virus is spread through the air and by direct or indirect contact with an infected animal.
"It attacks the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems,” says Havenga.
She added this is the newest strain of the Distemper virus causes aggressive symptoms, mainly neurological that closely resemble rabies symptoms.
Please look out for these symptoms:
- Listlessness and tiredness
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Discharge from the eyes and nose
- Muscle tremors in the body and on the head
- Sudden aggressive behaviour for example overfriendly or a marked change in personality
- Fear of water
- Loss of appetite
- Paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles may follow, resulting in the well-known symptom of foaming at the mouth.
- Disorientation, incoordination and staggering may occur, caused by paralysis of the hind legs.
Havenga says: “Should your dog have any of these symptoms, please take your dog to your vet OR local animal welfare immediately.”
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