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Distemper Hits Madera County Animal Shelter

Submitted by Robin Bell – Friends of Madera Animal Shelter 

MADERA COUNTY — Foster homes needed to help dogs and puppies! An outbreak of distemper is affecting the health of many dogs at the Madera County Animal Shelter. This disease spreads easily through contact with bodily fluids including urine, vomit and nasal discharge from one dog to another.

Madera County Animal Shelter is outdated and undersized making isolation of sick animals almost impossible. Although all animals are vaccinated on intake, they can be exposed to the disease prior to the development of a significant immune response. Puppies are at greater risk as are other immune compromised or dogs that have had no vaccines prior to entering the shelter.

Distemper has symptoms similar to other upper respiratory diseases but usually has a high fever, nasal discharge, lack of appetite and can cause neurological damage. Only half the animals that get the disease are able to survive. Distemper is a serious and deadly disease.

Foster homes are in critical demand to keep healthy dogs and pups out of the shelter until the distemper outbreak is under control. Foster time may range from a few days to a few weeks. The shelter can provide food and transport crates if needed for fosters. Ideally, foster should have a small pen or other secure area suitable to house the dogs or puppies. During this cold spell it is also important that the animals have a warm environment.

Please call the Madera County Animal Shelter at (559)675-7891 if you have a warm spot in your home and in your heart to help a homeless dog or puppy. Ask for Kirsten or another shelter representative to sign up as a Friends of Madera Animal Shelter volunteer. Your assistance is vital through the process of eliminating this deadly disease.

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