Dogs contract Canine Distemper virus in Walmer: Municipality warns

JUNE 5, 2015

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Friday warned dog owners and the community of Walmer Township and surrounding areas that its Directorate of Public Health has established that a number of dogs have contracted a very serious disease - Canine Distemper virus. 

"Although this disease is not harmful to human beings, it is a very serious and highly contagious disease among dogs. We urge communities from the aforementioned areas to closely 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," the municipality warned in a statement.

"Residents who suspect that their dogs have contracted the disease, must take them to a veterinarian immediately for urgent diagnosis and treatment. Residents who cannot afford the services of a  veterinarian, must urgently call  the Municipal Dog Control Inspectorate at 041 5061743."

On receiving a call, 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 who have not been vaccinated and received their distemper shots are especially prone to the disease," the municipality said.

"We plead for the cooperation and understanding of our 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."

Again members of the public are advised to call during office hours our Municipal Dog Control inspectorate at 0415061743.