Recent canine distemper outbreak calls for more vaccination

1 year 10 months 1 week 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
COLUMBIA -The next Mega Millions drawing will take place the night of Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. central time. ... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 3:57:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri's 107th Homecoming has come and gone, but left behind a lot of clean up.... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:34:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - Neighbors in the town of Hermann, Missouri are still grieving after a fatal accident involving a trolley killed... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 10:01:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri men’s basketball program suffered a crushing blow Sunday night when it was announced that sophomore power... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 7:34:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in Sports
(CNN) - President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The Washington Post says Saudi Arabia's announcement about the death of contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi is not an... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - One man is dead after being ejected from his motorcycle during a crash Saturday night. Kin... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
PECULIAR - Fourth generation dairy farmer Jay Fogle is one of many Missouri milk cow operators who are struggling to... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was killed in a crash late Saturday night on North Stadium Boulevard (State Route E) near... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - One person was killed and several people were injured in a crash involving a trolley, according to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:57:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:11:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been criminally charged days after a woman's body was found near Fellows Lake at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:58:08 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield woman who killed her live-in boyfriend with a crowbar in 2017 has been sentenced to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:48:36 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A restored St. Louis prairie of native grasses and flowers is in bloom, but the nature... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:50:24 AM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 41°
8am 44°
9am 48°
10am 53°
11am 58°