A number of dogs have contracted the canine distemper virus in Port Elizabeth and Humansdorp.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality wishes to inform dog owners and the community of Walmer Township and surrounding areas that this disease is not harmful to human beings but is a very serious and highly contagious disease among dogs.
And St Francis Bay vet, Nerine Botha, who says says there have been some outbreaks of distemper in Humansdorp, maintains there is no cure and this is why it is very important for all pet owners to have dogs vaccinated for distemper.
Dog owners in PE and Humansdorp and other areas should monitor their dogs and those of their neighbours for symptoms of this disease, which include the following: Coughing, sneezing, thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, nervous twitching..
Residents who suspect that their dogs have contracted the disease, must take them to their nearest vet immediately for urgent diagnosis and treatment.
Residents in PE who cannot afford the services of a veterinarian, must urgently call the Municipal Dog Control Inspectorate at 041 5061743.
In PE a team of officials will be despatched to the resident’s home to take a look at the dog and discuss its condition and symptoms with the owner. If suspicion exists that the dog has indeed distemper, the animal will be taken away to the SPCA and may be put down. Municipal officials are already out in Walmer Township and the surrounding areas educating people about the disease and what needs to be done when it is detected.
The disease is passed from dog to dog through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva. Sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls are all possible way for the virus to be passed on. Residents could clean and disinfect (with bleach) their dog’s kennel and food and water bowls and their own home to help prevent the virus from spreading. Puppies and dogs that have not been vaccinated and received their distemper shots are especially prone to the disease.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality asks cooperation and understanding of residents during this period and that they appreciate that the Municipality is acting in the best interests of the health and safety of the canine population of Nelson Mandela Bay.