To protect against canine distemper, RI DEM urges owners to limit the presence of pets.

“It’s not a huge number, but they’re typically young, healthy dogs that are dying in dramatic fashion, so it sticks out in our minds,” said Panquist, an emergency medicine specialist at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists. are

“The deaths were very few,” said state veterinarian Scott Marshall, “and there’s no need to panic.”

They recommended social distancing with dogs and good hygiene measures for businesses that work with pets, such as kennels, doggy daycares and groomers.

There is no definitive test for the disease. The first symptom is a cough that can persist for days or weeks in young healthy dogs without any risk factors.

“It progressed to pneumonia,” Panquist said. “Some who had to be on ventilators died. We started tracking cases to see if we could find commonalities between these dogs.”

Panquist said his clinic has partnered with the University of New Hampshire to investigate the cases.

“They have a theory that there is a bacteria that cannot be cultured,” he said.

If dogs show signs of a respiratory infection, Marshall said isolate them, as people did during the COVID pandemic.

The infection is believed to be resistant to antibiotic treatment.

“The majority (of dogs) make a full recovery,” Marshall said, noting that dogs that are regularly vaccinated tend to have less severe cases.


Carlos Muse can be reached at carlos.munoz@globe.com. Follow him Read @Carlos And on Instagram @Carlosbrknews.

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