Altus Animal Shelter finds case of distemper, temporarily closed - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Altus Animal Shelter finds case of distemper, temporarily closed

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) - The Altus Animal Shelter is shut down temporarily after one of the dogs there was found to have a deadly disease called distemper.

Officials say the dog that had the disease, unfortunately, had to be euthanized. Distemper is a virus that only affects canines and is easily transferred through a variety of ways, like sneezing and coughing. Right now, no animals are being adopted out of the animal shelter. They are also not accepting any owner surrendered dogs, only strays.

Altus City officials tell us veterinarians are monitoring the health of the other dogs in the shelter, but do not believe any of them have the disease. They hope to have the shelter back open by Monday.

Dr. Jennifer Webb at Lawton Veterinary Hospital says distemper used to be very prevalent among canines, but thanks to vaccinations, it's become much less common, outside of animal shelters and strays. But, Webb said the disease is devastating to those animals that catch it.

"It is a very serious disease. Once it gets into the central nervous system, it is nine times out of 10 fatal. Even with correct treatment, the mortality rate is up towards 50 percent,” Dr. Webb said.

Dr. Webb said symptoms of the disease are similar to kennel cough, red eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing and coughing. While there are vaccinations to help prevent the disease, right now there's not a sure-fire way to cure it.

"Because it is a virus, the biggest thing is supportive care, keeping the pet hydrated, keeping secondary bacterial infections under control, and controlling the symptoms is the best we can do while their body takes care of the virus,” Webb said.

Webb said distemper is spread through the air, meaning it can spread quickly in areas like animal shelters where there are lots of dogs near each other.

"It can come from an infected dog's sneezing, coughing, eye discharge, nasal discharge, saliva. It can also be spread in the urine and the feces. It can be spread almost any number of ways,” Webb said.

Webb says in a situation like the one in Altus, the best way to handle it would be to immediately isolate the dogs that are affected. Then all cages, leashes, bowls or anything else the dogs could have touched would need to be sanitized. 

Altus City officials declined to do an on-camera interview for this story.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:03 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:03:23 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:13:23 GMT
    (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2008, file photo, author Philip Roth poses for a photo in the offices of his publisher, Houghton Mifflin, in New York. Roth, prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, religion and mortal...

    Author of more than 25 books,  Philip Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for "American Pastoral."

    Author of more than 25 books,  Philip Roth won virtually every literary honor, including the Pulitzer Prize for "American Pastoral."

  • Gay Kentucky man loses bid to challenge GOP clerk Kim Davis

    Gay Kentucky man loses bid to challenge GOP clerk Kim Davis

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 8:07 PM EDT2018-05-23 00:07:36 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:09 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:09:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Adam Beam, File). FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2017, file photo, David Ermold, right, files to run for Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky as Clerk Kim Davis look on in Morehead, Ky. Ermold, a gay man in Kentucky, wants to run against the county clerk w...(AP Photo/Adam Beam, File). FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2017, file photo, David Ermold, right, files to run for Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky as Clerk Kim Davis look on in Morehead, Ky. Ermold, a gay man in Kentucky, wants to run against the county clerk w...

    A gay Kentucky man has lost his bid to challenge GOP clerk Kim Davis, who went to jail three years ago for denying him and others marriage licenses despite a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision.

    A gay Kentucky man has lost his bid to challenge GOP clerk Kim Davis, who went to jail three years ago for denying him and others marriage licenses despite a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision.

  • Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

    Trump won't say if he has confidence in Rosenstein

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 12:12 AM EDT2018-05-22 04:12:21 GMT
    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:06 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:06:58 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will "demand" that the Justice Department open ...

    The agreement came after President Donald Trump made an extraordinary demand that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign.

    The agreement came after President Donald Trump made an extraordinary demand that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign.

Powered by Frankly