By Gandhya Senanayake
Distemper which affects domesticated dogs is on the rise in the Southern Province and dog owners have been advised to take precautionary measures and vaccinate their pets on time to prevent the further spread of the disease, Dr. K. P. M. Pathirana, Director of Veterinary Services in the Southern Province told Daily Mirror online.
Canine distemper is a serious viral disease that affects domesticated animals such as dogs and cats although it can infect wild animals as well. The canine distemper virus mainly spreads through air borne droplets and other bodily fluids including nasal, ocular (eye) secretions and urine.
Dr. K. P. M. Pathirana said that he was not aware of the percentage of the number of dogs affected by the disease but confirmed that it was spreading. Early symptoms of canine distemper include fever, loss of appetite, mild eye inflammation that may only last a day or two. The dogs may also experience eye and nose discharge and depression.
Meanwhile Dr. Nalinika Obeyesekere, a veterinarian said that distemper outbreaks were quite common in most parts of the island and that the pets were not properly vaccinated due to the lack of knowledge on the affects the virus has on their pets.
She told Daily Mirror online that the vaccination cost and its lack of contagiousness to humans were factors that affected many dogs not getting the proper vaccination in time. (Daily Mirror online)