Dogs show signs of dis­tem­per virus

The Central Voice - - Front Page - tele­gram@thetele­

The Gander and Area SPCA has “come to the heart­break­ing con­clu­sion” to eu­th­a­nize all but two of the dogs and pup­pies at its shel­ter due to a dis­tem­per out­break.

The an­nounce­ment was made on the shel­ter’s Face­book page the af­ter­noon of Sept. 25.

“Af­ter con­sult­ing with the pro­vin­cial vet and our own lo­cal vet­eri­nary team, with care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of the huge ram­i­fi­ca­tions of dis­tem­per spread­ing not only among un­vac­ci­nated dogs but also to wildlife such as foxes, coy­otes, bears, weasels and mink, we have come to the heart­break­ing con­clu­sion that eu­th­a­niz­ing the pup­pies and dogs at our shel­ter who have shown signs of dis­tem­per is the only re­spon­si­ble way to con­tain this virus,” states the an­nounce­ment on the Face­book page.

Dis­tem­per is a con­ta­gious, vi­ral ill­ness with no known cure.

In af­fected dogs, it causes di­ges­tive, ner­vous and res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem prob­lems, and only half of af­fected dogs will sur­vive. Those that do sur­vive are usu­ally left with per­ma­nent dam­age to their ner­vous sys­tem.

Two adult dogs in the Gander SPCA’s care will not be euthanized, as they are not show­ing signs of dis­tem­per. They will re­main quar­an­tined “for the fore­see­able fu­ture.”

The Gander SPCA’s dog area was un­der quar­an­tine since a puppy brought into its care be­came ill and was euthanized.

That puppy’s au­topsy came back pos­i­tive for ca­nine dis­tem­per virus.

“We have clung to hope th­ese past cou­ple of weeks, try­ing our ab­so­lute best to keep the virus from spread­ing from the pup­pies to our adult dogs, but they too started show­ing symp­toms of dis­tem­per.”

The Face­book post said vac­ci­nat­ing pets is im­por­tant to pre­vent the spread of viruses, and any­one with ques­tions about the safety of their pet should con­tact their lo­cal vet­eri­nary clinic.

The post also ad­dressed a need for a new shel­ter with iso­la­tion rooms.


A husky mix pup awaits adop­tion at the Gander SPCA in 2017.

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