BSPCA’S DOG OF THE WEEK IS CONNER
Age: Two years
Conner is sociable, good-natured and enthusiastic. He loves company and enjoys going for long walks. Conner is neutered, tick treated and fully vaccinated.
BSPCA’S CAT OF THE WEEK IS OSMOND
Age: One year and 10 months
Osmond is very friendly, loving and gentle. He loves to relax either close to people or preferably on their laps. Osmond is neutered and fully vaccinated.
If you are interested in adopting Conner, Osmond or any of the shelter’s cats, kittens, dogs and puppies, visit the Animal Welfare Centre in Askar. Directions can be found at www.bspca.org
Question: How can I prevent my puppy from contracting the canine distemper disease?
Answer: Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease in dogs that attacks the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tracts and the central nervous system.
The virus travels as aerosol particles and enters the body through the nose or mouth.
The main symptoms are high fever, reddened eyes, loss of appetite, nasal discharge, pus like discharge in the eyes and other gastrointestinal and respiratory tract symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, and coughing.
In untreated, the distemper will lead to neurological signs as the virus reaches the central nervous system.
The classic neurological signs include circling, head tilt, involuntary twitching of muscles, seizures, temporal twitching, chewing movement of jaw (chewing gum fits), and partial of complete paralysis.
These neurological signs may be there for several months.
Certain strains of viruses cause abnormal thickening and hardening of the feet pads.
The treatment mainly focuses on alleviating the symptoms which include intravenous fluid administration, eyes and nose cleaning, control of vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infection.
The best way to control the spread of infection is immediate isolation of the infected animal and disinfection of all the premises with phenol-like disinfectants.
The best prevention against canine distemper is through vaccination.
Most puppies are born with their mother’s antibodies, which prevents them from becoming infected with many diseases.
Puppies begin to lose their maternal protection between six and 12 weeks of age, which is when puppies should be vaccinated.
Dr Hansel Geo is a veterinary consult and surgeon for the BSPCA. Please send questions to [email protected]
Vet Hansel answers questions about pet care in this weekly advice column, created in partnership with the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA). Each week some of the animals in the BSPCA sanctuary will also be highlighted, in the hope of finding each of them a loving home