Officials: Oklahoma shelter sees increase in deadly canine distemper virus cases

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TULSA, Okla. – Animal welfare workers in one Oklahoma community are trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus.

Officials with the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare say they have seen several cases of canine distemper virus, or CDV, since last March.

CDV is a serious and potentially deadly viral illness that affects dogs. It’s a pretty rare disease, but more cases are continuing to surface in Tulsa.

“That virus gets on some tool or something that you’re using in the hospital, or like a kennel that didn’t get cleaned very well and then another dog got put in that kennel, that would be a source of transmission,” Dr. Samantha Ketcher, with Woodland West Animal Hospital, told KJRH.

The illness can affect dogs at any age, but unvaccinated puppies are at the highest risk.

Some studies show that about 50 percent of the dogs that are diagnosed with CDV end up dying from the illness.

Symptoms of CDV are fever, eye and skin infections and respiratory issues.

“Sometimes they can have a thickening of their nose, like the top of their nose,” said Dr. Ketcher.

Experts say normal vaccines can prevent dogs from getting this virus.

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