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Dog virus outbreak at ‘alarming levels’

Jeffreys Bay – At least five new cases of distemper have been reported in Kouga within 48 hours – and local animal organisations are warning of a threatening epidemic that has already killed several dogs in recent weeks.

This follows a spike in cases of distemper reported.

According to Jessica Naudé from the JBay Animal Rescue Sanctuary, the deadly and contagious virus, mostly affecting the informal and rural areas, has already killed over 70 dogs in the last four weeks – with the death toll expected to climb.

“The virus, that is highly contagious between dogs and transferable by people, has now spread to Wavecrest,” says a concerned Naudé. “It is a crisis that needs immediate intervention.”

According to her, distemper attacks all organ systems, including the respiratory system and ends up in the brain. It is fatal in 50% of cases and a recovered dog may still spread the virus for two to three months.

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“It is truly a horrible death and a horrific way for any animal to die.”

Naudé urges all pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated as soon as possible.

Source: Kouga Express

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