TAVARES — The Lake County Animal Services Division is reporting an outbreak of canine distemper at its shelter, located at 28123 County Road 561, Tavares, and is working to contain the virus by temporarily suspending dog adoptions at the shelter.
“We vaccinate all dogs against distemper upon entry to the shelter,” said Marjorie Boyd, Director of the Lake County Animal Services Division, “however, some animals may have already been exposed prior to entering the shelter.”
Lake County Animal Services is encouraging all dog and ferret owners in Lake County to contact their veterinarians to ensure their pets are up-to-date with vaccinations. This virus is preventable with proper vaccinations.
The canine distemper virus is easily transmittable from wildlife to pets running at large. Symptoms of the virus are similar to a common cold or kennel cough at the beginning of an infection. Unlike a cold, however, this virus can quickly progress to pneumonia and death. It is not transmissible to cats or humans, but is transmissible to ferrets. Puppies are at the greatest risk.
“Due to this outbreak, it is more important than ever for pet owners to keep their pets well vaccinated and safely confined where they won’t come in contact with unvaccinated or sick animals,” Boyd said.
Dog adoptions at the shelter will resume after all the animals at the shelter test free of the disease. For more information, call the Lake County Animal Services Division at (352) 343-9688.