Canine Distemper Virus Discovered in Dead Dog at Pulau Ubin
If you are thinking of taking your dog to Pulau Ubin for an afternoon of fun, we advise you to put your plans on hold. After being notified that several dogs had died on the island, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) conducted a post mortem done on one of the dead dogs and concluded that it was killed by the Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). This piece of new was made known to the public on 17 August 2012 in their media release.
What is CDV?
CDV is a virus that is associated mainly with dogs and ferrets. It is highly contagious among dogs and affects their gut, nervous system and lungs. Fortunately for us, there are no known cases of transmission of the disease to humans and the spread of the disease as of now is confined solely to the island of Pulau Ubin.
CDV is passed mainly from bodily fluids of the infected animal, usually through close contact or contact with contaminated food, water or objects and young puppies, older or weaker dogs as well as dogs whose vaccinations are not up to date are particularly prone.
Signs of CDV infection include fever within the 3rd to 8th day possibly accompanied by cough, running nose and eye discharge in the early stages. This is followed usually by refusal of dog to eat, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and depression. Dogs with stronger immune system tend to have a better chance of surviving the ailment. However surviving dogs will continue to be plague by symptoms of the disease throughout their lifetime. These symptoms can include non-life threatening ones such as hardening of the foot pad and serious ones such as seizures, disorientation, paralysis and other nervous disorders due to the degeneration of the nervous system.
While fatality is high among unvaccinated dogs (over 50% of cases result in death), CDV is preventable. Ensuring your dog’s vaccination is kept up to date is really the best form of prevention and protection against this disease.
What is AVA doing to Contain the Spread?
The AVA is currently working with animal welfare groups as well as the Residents Committee (RC) to educate residents of Pulau Ubin on preventive measures they can take to keep their pets safe. Residents have also been informed to notify the AVA should they notice any stray dogs in the vicinity with CDV symptoms.
Meanwhile, anyone needing more information about CDV or the situation at Pulau Ubin can call the AVA at 1800-476-1600.