If any dogs test positive for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) at the shelter, we are immediately isolating them at our medical teams counsel and attempting to get them into a foster home. Since distemper positive dogs can shed the virus to other dogs for up to 3 months, they need to be isolated for that entire period or they pose a risk to other dogs at the shelter.
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All Facilities Remain Closed to the Public through Mid-July
(DALLAS, TX; WAXAHACHIE, TX) Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — The SPCA of Texas continues suspension of general intake and on-site adoptions at most locations due to the recent documentation of at least fifteen dogs infected with the canine distemper virus (CDV) in its care. The suspension is expected to continue for at least the next three weeks. Recently, many shelters in North Texas have been facing similar outbreaks.
Out of an abundance of caution, all dogs continue to be monitored and 155 dogs have been tested for infection. Of those tests, 144 results have been received and 15 CDV positive dogs have been identified.
While the Martin Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care Clinic is closed to the public to provide an isolation ward for dogs in treatment of CDV, all public spay, neuter and wellness care will take place at the Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care Clinic at Village Fair.
The SPCA of Texas recommends that dog owners consult with their veterinarian to ensure that their pets are up to date on vaccinations. The organization encourages owners whose pets are in need of vaccinations to visit the SPCA of Texas Free Vaccination Clinic on Sunday, June 26 from 8 a.m. to noon or to make an appointment at the SPCA of Texas Mary Spencer Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Care Clinic at Village Fair.
In consultation with veterinary viral disease expert Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD, the SPCA of Texas’ medical team, led by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Amber Alu, developed a proactive, broad-based response plan to maximize lifesaving, minimize further spread of the virus and protect the community. As a part of this plan, the following SPCA of Texas facilities will remain closed to adopters, volunteers and community members for at least another three weeks:
These facilities will be able to return to normal public access two weeks after all CDV positive dogs and dogs with with upper respiratory symptoms are fully isolated and all are tested.
Many of the SPCA of Texas’ programs and services will continue during this period. These include:
“The SPCA of Texas respectfully asks for the public’s patience as we do everything in our power to protect and care for the animals in our facilities and in our community,” said Karen Froehlich, President & CEO of SPCA of Texas. “This situation indicates that canine distemper virus is circulating in the community, and the SPCA of Texas urges all pet owners to vaccinate all of their pets against all species-appropriate diseases under the direction of their veterinarian as well as to have their pet spayed or neutered and microchipped.”
“This disease is highly preventable when dogs are properly vaccinated,” said Dr. Amber Alu, SPCA of Texas Chief Medical Officer. “The vaccine is effective and is far less expensive than treating the disease or losing your pet to the virus. I highly recommend all dog and ferret owners make sure their pets’ distemper vaccination is up to date. Dog owners should also use caution when socializing puppies or unvaccinated dogs where dogs congregate such as parks.”
As a reminder, all SPCA of Texas animals are vaccinated on intake if no proof of vaccinations exists. But if the animal has not previously been vaccinated, it can take up to two weeks before any significant immunity to such viruses is achieved.
For more information on CDV, as well as future updates as more information becomes available, visit spca.org/distemper.
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