TEARS warns of the deadly distemper virus, a highly contagious airborne virus

Sunnydale-based TEARS Animal Rescue is currently inundated with pet owners seeking help for unvaccinated puppies that have been infected with the deadly distemper virus (CDV or Distemper).

This highly contagious airborne virus, primarily affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological systems, includes symptoms like fever and diarrhea before spreading to the brain and causing death. Because there is no cure for the disease and because of its high contagiousness, the standard animal welfare response, mandated by the SPCA, is to euthanize any dog ​​diagnosed with Distemper.

According to TEARS Chief Veterinarian Dr. Tania Heuer, “Distemper, along with canine parvo virus, are two of the most infectious diseases for dogs. We have a monumental responsibility to prevent the spread of disease in our communities and a high rate of euthanasia in cases where a dog tests positive for the virus.The most important thing any pet owner can do for their pet is to ensure they are fully vaccinated. Distemper is preventable if puppies are vaccinated early.

A vaccination at six weeks, another at no week, and then preferably a third vaccination at twelve weeks (three months) will provide sufficient protection against the virus. Adult dogs only need two shots a month apart.

TEARS vaccinates up to 350 vulnerable animals per month, providing sterilizations and the first free vaccine to its social clients living in Masiphumelele, Capricorn, Ocean View and Red Hill.

Picture: TEARS

While many pet owners do not have access to transportation, TEARS operates a mobile clinic service seven days a week, picking up animals from these four communities and taking them to TEARS Veterinary Hospital for treatment, before delivering them. send back. Despite this, many pet owners neglect to vaccinate their puppies or never receive their booster shots as required.

“Many pet owners continue to have an anti-vaccination, anti-neuter mentality, says Dr. Heuer. “We cannot impose owner liability on anyone.”

TEARS Head of Fundraising, Lara Van Rensburg, comments, “TEARS is in desperate need of financial support for its veterinary outreach program to vaccinate more animals and prevent more unnecessary deaths. It costs us R63,000.00 to vaccinate 350 animals, but the vaccination status of pets remains low compared to the needs. Homeless and abandoned animals that are more susceptible to infection roam free, which, combined with the crowded conditions in these low-income communities, means the spread of the virus is an ongoing challenge. Pet owners who neglect to vaccinate their pets realize the dangers of not vaccinating too late. The incubation period for the virus is between three and six days and by the time symptoms appear after exposure, it is too late.

Picture: TEARS

Capetonians can help by donating to the TEARS Veterinary Awareness Fund, allowing TEARS Mobile Clinics to continue their neutering and vaccination campaigns and protect more animals.

Picture: TEARS

To donate, click here or visit www.tears.org.za

TEARS is a recognized Tier 1 B-BBEE Contributor and Public Beneficiary Organization. Donations to TEARS are tax deductible, with donors receiving a Section 18A tax receipt.

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