Distemper outbreak causes local animal shelter to close

MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) — An outbreak of distemper has forced the Midland Animal Shelter to close for two days to clean and care for affected dogs.

Dogs that have been affected by this disease have been taken to other local shelters to be monitored in the meantime.

The animal shelter had two days of cleaning to make sure this virus was gone.

Distemper is a viral infection that can affect dogs.

Some symptoms may include fever, cough, tremors and seizures in dogs.

Although it is possible for dogs to recover from distemper,

They can take months to recover and even sometimes they are not the same afterwards.

“It’s deadlier than parvovirus. Parvovirus you can treat, distemper you can’t, the long term effects are neurological on the animal,” Ty Coleman said.

Fix West Texas, Midland Animal Shelter Adoptables and Permian Basin Animal Advocates are some of the organizations that have volunteered to quarantine some of the dogs.

During this time the animal services were cleaning the cages.

“We closed Thursday and Friday. We want to do a lot of deep cleaning, we hit the air vents, every bar in the cage, the door handles, we want to do everything we can to eradicate the disease,” Coleman said.

Coleman says the illness likely came from a stray dog ​​that had distemper, and like other illnesses, these dogs didn’t show any symptoms until it was too late.

“So it takes up to 14 days for an animal to test positive for distemper after being exposed. Right now we have a separate group whose animals are in isolation and who may have been exposed to distemper,” Coleman said.

A member of Midland Animal Shelter Adoptables says they have taken in 14 dogs who are being closely monitored for the virus, and unfortunately 12 dogs have had to be euthanized since this outbreak.

To date, the cages are clean and are expected to be used during the day.

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