Be alert: Canine Distemper disease on the island

Turks and Caicos, July 3rd 2017 – Providenciales – The Animal Health Services Division within the Department of Agriculture (DoA) wishes to advise animal owners on Providenciales that there appears to be an outbreak of Canine Distemper disease on the island particularly in Blue Hills, Leeward and Five Cays. This disease can be fatal to dogs especially puppies and adolescent dogs that have not been vaccinated against the virus.

Canine Distemper is a highly contagious virus that can cause a life-threatening illness. The virus affects the respiratory system, the conjunctiva membrane of the eyes, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

Symptoms of the disease include sneezing, thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose, fever, lethargy, coughing, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and loss of appetite, seizures, pneumonia, shaking and trembling.

The virus is spread through, direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva, sneezing, coughing sharing food bowls and beddings.

The Animal Health Services is recommending that dog owners of unvaccinated dogs or dogs showing symptoms consistent with the disease;

  • have animals examined/treated by a veterinarian.
  • get dogs vaccinated as a preventative measure.
  • contact a veterinarian if symptoms are noticed or unsure.
  • not move animals from suspected infected areas to other areas.
  • not transport/ship dogs from Providenciales to other islands without approval from the Department of Agriculture.
  • exercise caution when handling sick animals.

A veterinarian can be contacted at any of the three veterinary clinics on Providenciales: *TCI Veterinary Association 649-946-4353 *Bark and Bliss – 649-232-2275 *Woodring Vet Services-649-231-0685.  For further information, please contact the Department of Agriculture at 649-946-5800.



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