Arizona Humane Society sees rise of distemper cases in dogs

The Arizona Humane Society says they're seeing a number of distemper cases in pets, and because of this, they're currently asking people planning to surrender their healthy dogs to wait before doing so.

It's not unusual to see a rise in distemper cases in the spring and fall, but this year, shelters across Arizona say they are seeing quite a few cases right now.

"What this has led to is really having to reduce the intake of pets coming into our shelter to not only keep the pets we currently have in our shelter safe, but any of the pets that come in," said Dr. Melissa Thompson, vice president of medical operations at the Arizona Humane Society. "The last thing we want to do is expose those guys to a potential distemper dog."

All the dogs at the shelter have been tested, and those that test positive are being quarantined until they get two negative tests. Distemper, which is a virus, can sometimes be difficult to diagnose.

"These things can look like your typical kennel cough, or your doggy cold, if you will," said Thompson. "So they might have a runny nose, they might have some goopy eyes, so a lot of times it can be mistaken for a simple case of kennel cough."

Thompson said that right now, it's important for people to make sure their dogs are vaccinated. The Arizona Humane Society offers $21 vaccinations at their clinic on Fridays.

More on the Arizona Humane Society vaccinations: 

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