Dog disease cases soar in informal areas
Knysna Animal Welfare Society (Kaws) has warned of another possible rise of distemper, a fatal and incurable disease among dogs, after they had to euthanase more than 90 animals between July and August this year.
According to Kaws’ Retha Havenga, they deal with distemper cases daily, mostly from the Hornlee area where it broke out earlier this year.
In total, Kaws had to put down almost 300 dogs due to the disease since the outbreak, Havenga says.
As soon as a dog owner notices symptoms like loss of appetite or a discharge around the eyes and nose – or anything abnormal – they must immediately take their animal to either Kaws or a vet. “This is the worst outbreak I have ever seen in all my years working for a welfare agency,” she says. Havenga reminds dog owners of vaccination against the disease, especially puppies.
Fever; listlessness and tiredness; vomiting and diarrhoea; discharge from the eyes and nose; coughing; muscle tremors in the body and on the head; sudden aggressive behaviour (overfriendly or a marked change in personality); fear of water; weakness; loss of appetite; seizures; paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles, resulting in foaming at the mouth.
Disorientation, incoordination and staggering, caused by paralysis of the hind legs.