Surge in Deadly Virus Causes Closure of Lufkin Animal Shelter
The City of Lufkin Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter located at 1901 Hill Street in Lufkin (near Morris Frank Park) is temporarily closed until further notice. Officials at the shelter are trying their best to keep the dog population there protected from cases of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). There has been a significant rise in Lufkin, Angelina County, and through Deep East Texas of this often fatal disease.
Keeping it Clean
During this closure, the shelter will continue to deep clean and provide medical care and testing for the animals housed in the facility. The shelter cannot introduce new animals into the shelter’s compromised population without a very high risk of exposing the animals to CDV. The shelter is working with its veterinarian to conduct PCR and titer testing to determine when it is safe to reopen. Animal shelters across the State of Texas have been hit hard in recent months with outbreaks of this deadly virus.
Puppy Owners, Take Heed
If you own a dog (especially puppies under the age of 5 months), please ensure they are current on vaccinations. Puppies require at least 4 booster vaccines for CDV before the age of 20 weeks (5 months). Older dogs still need boosters and need yearly boosters in an endemic environment.
Symptoms of the Disease
Signs of distemper include watery/goopy discharge from the eyes, progressing to fever, lethargy, nasal discharge, coughing, and vomiting. The virus then attacks the nervous system, where symptoms include head tilt, circling to one side, muscle twitching, “chewing gum fits,” salivation, seizures, and partial or complete paralysis. The foot pads may also harden (“hard pad disease”).
Distemper is often fatal, and if the dog survives, symptoms (neurological) may be permanent.
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