Local News

Dog Owners Urged to Vaccinate Against Distemper

Posted October 21, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A Wake County animal shelter is expected to reopen Tuesday afternoon after an outbreak of a highly contagious canine disease forced it to close last week.

Officials found five cases of canine distemper virus at theWake County SPCAearlier this month. They had to euthanize 33 dogs; 18 were saved.

Local veterinarians are also reporting a high number of cases.

The disease affects dogs and ferrets.

Symptoms include runny eyes and nose, and coughing. Unvaccinated animals can pick up the virus with a simple walk around the block.

"The virus can be secreted through the urine so dogs coming along to sniff another dog's urine marking are susceptible to the disease if they have not been vaccinated," says Mondy Lamb, Wake County SPCA spokeswoman.