July 07, 2014
As some of you may know, we are currently experiencing a serious outbreak of the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), in possible epidemic proportions, on the island.
We are recommending that everyone do their best to keep thier own dogs out of contact with other dogs for at least the next three weeks or so and insure that their own pets are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Also, please inform any friends or family members that they should immediately cease any shipping of dogs between islands or exportation to new homes outside the Bahamas.
The details of the disease are: dogs are infected by direct transfer of fluids such as urine, mucus, saliva, etc. This can be aerosolized by sneezing and/or coughing.
Contaminated surfaces may be viable for several hours, but the good news is that in warm climates and sunlight the virus is deactivated in a few hours.
Bleach is also very effecive in killing the virus on surfaces. The fatality rate for infected dogs is, according to Veterinary sources, over 50 percent.
There is no cure, only management. The disease starts with runny nose, goopy eyes, possible coughing, sneezing, lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhea.
Not all symptoms may present at the same time. The severity of symptoms may vary. CDV eventually progresses to neurological involvement that includes erratic movement, seizures, and eventually death as the brain is invaded.
The disease is NOT a risk to humans or cats.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either your prefered veterinary practice or the Bahamas Humane Society.