Recent canine distemper outbreak calls for more vaccination

8 months 1 week 1 hour ago Saturday, December 10 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:31:00 PM CST December 10, 2016 in News
By: Chris Joseph, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — In late October, an outbreak of canine distemper forced a St. Louis animal shelter to euthanize 17 dogs. Mid-Missouri pet owners need to continue to vaccinate their dogs to prevent a similar situation from hitting closer to home.

“Canine distemper floats through the air,Richard Meadows, a curators teaching professor at the MU Veterinary Health Center said. “An outbreak can spread in a big hurry.”

Canine distemper is a virus that damages the brain and is spread through the air or by interaction with an infected animal. The disease is almost certain death for infected canines, but it’s not transmissible to humans. There is a solution, however.

“There’ s a very effective vaccine for it…  It is excellent. It is safe. It works.”

Meadows explained that to keep a population of dogs healthy and outbreaks limited, “herd immunity” is needed. Herd immunity is where a minimum of 70 percent of the population is vaccinated for that virus. KOMU 8 News was unable to find any statistics on the percentage of dogs vaccinated in Missouri. Meadows said the majority of dogs he has seen are well taken care of, but continued care across the region is a must.

“If you get cavalier about a terribly debilitating disease... you can pay a price for that. Society can pay a price for that.”

MU student Hannah Phillips and her dog Nala have already learned that lesson. Nala was a rescue dog but suffered from parvo when she was adopted. Parvo is another significantly fatal disease that causes bloody diarrhea and fever among other symptoms.

“The vet gave her three shots the last trip,” Phillips said. “In three weeks she has to get booster shots.”

Nala is healthy now, but rescue dogs sick with parvo or canine distemper reflect a real concern of local shelter officials.

“It’s definitely scary for any rescue or work shelter.” Central Missouri Humane Society Assistant Director Michelle Casey said. “We vaccinate all of our animals coming to the shelter on intake.”

Casey explained the staff veterinarian examines the Humane Society’s animals on a daily basis and quarantines any animals that show signs of illness.

The only animals not vaccinated immediately are pregnant mothers in order to protect the unborn puppies. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in early November the staff at the distemper outbreak shelter believed an infected mother may have brought the distemper with her.

Central Missouri Humane Society Veterinarian Russell Ehlmann said the shelter avoids that scenario by immediately placing pregnant mothers in foster care.

“Once they have their puppies… then we go ahead and vaccinate the mom,” Ehlmann said. The shelter vaccinates the puppies when they are old enough.

Age is an important factor in keeping young dogs healthy. Meadows recommended talking to a veterinarian before taking a young dog out and letting it interact with other possibly sick dogs. Additionally, he recommends making sure vaccinations are up to date once a year.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
MOBERLY - A state medical board suspended the license for a doctor after finding he improperly gave drugs to and... More >>
10 minutes ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 9:27:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday afternoon on suspicion of burglary. Deputies were dispatched... More >>
44 minutes ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a suspected improvised explosive device has been detonated near a suburban Kansas City patrol... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:37:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:07:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Police Department will be participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A small fire damaged an apartment building on Clark Avenue early Friday morning. At about 4:00... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MarineParents.com, which is based in Columbia, helped grant a mother's wish for her fallen Marine, Cody Haley. 780... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:21:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of Missouri's right-to-work law are one step closer to having it delayed. A coalition of unions... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Hotels in Columbia are already over 95 percent full for the upcoming eclipse weekend. Megan McConachie, Strategic... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A man accused of providing the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer is facing... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:23:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It just got a lot easier to serve alcohol over the forthcoming eclipse weekend in Jefferson City.... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - A man was shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon,... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A toddler and mother were thrown from a car and two other people were hurt in a... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson says he's considering running for state auditor. Richardson told The... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:17:32 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Sen. Roy Blunt agreed with some of President Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Virginia and condemned white supremacists on... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her potential Republican rival Attorney General Josh Hawley are meeting at the... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:46:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a Missouri lawmaker posting and deleting a comment hoping President Trump is... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
MARSHFIELD (AP) — A search warrant that has been unsealed recently gives details about what authorities are calling a murder-suicide... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 12:06:43 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
10am 77°
11am 81°
12pm 84°
1pm 86°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld