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  Metros   Mumbai  19 Apr 2017  Vets warn of viral canine distemper outbreak among strays

Vets warn of viral canine distemper outbreak among strays

THE ASIAN AGE. | VRUSHALI PURANDARE
Published : Apr 19, 2017, 1:36 am IST
Updated : Apr 19, 2017, 6:24 am IST

A contagious disease, at times fatal, viral canine distemper, affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous system of dogs.

Puppies that are not vaccinated after birth usually fall prey to the disease, which spreads among canines but cannot infect humans.
 Puppies that are not vaccinated after birth usually fall prey to the disease, which spreads among canines but cannot infect humans.

Mumbai: In the last few weeks, at least 10 puppies at the Bombay Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) have succumbed to viral canine distemper disease for which there is no specific treatment available, according to veterinary doctors. A contagious disease, at times fatal, viral canine distemper, affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous system of dogs. Recovery is possible only if detection and treatment is carried out in the early stages.

Puppies that are not vaccinated after birth usually fall prey to the disease, which spreads among canines but cannot infect humans. According to BSPCA doctors, there has been an outbreak of the infection over the past few months. Colonel (Dr) J.C. Khanna, secretary and in-charge, BSPCA Hospital, told The Asian Age, “It is a viral disease which affects the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and central nervous systems in dogs. The canine distemper virus causes the disease.”

Canine distemper is usually transmitted through contact with respiratory secretions, urine, stools, and body fluids of dogs however contact with faeces and urine of infected dogs or things they have contaminated can also cause infection. Early symptoms of distemper in canines include fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. Dr Khanna said, “It affects puppies since their immunity levels are low. The infection further reduces immunity. There is no specific treatment, so we provide them with supportive therapy to prevent viral increase and bacterial infection. We also prescribe nervous stimulants if it has affected them neurologically.”

Number of strays and domestic dogs; number of vaccinated dogs

Of the 30 dogs diagnosed with viral canine distemper in the city, 10 have succumbed to the disease. Till now, 100 dogs including domesticated and stray ones have been vaccinated whereas dogs who are not vaccinated remain 100 per cent prone to this deadly disease, according to Dr Khanna.

Tags: bombay society for prevention of cruelty to animals
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)