Distemper in Miami: The Neverending Story
At a recent veterinary conference, a local colleague and I were bemoaning the onset of yet another distemper outbreak in our community. A vet from New York joined in the conversation. “I don’t mean to eavesdrop”, he said, “but did you say distemper? You’ve actually seen it? I’ve been practicing for almost 50 years and I don’t think I could diagnosis it if my life depended on it!” Sadly, even the most junior receptionist at just about any veterinary hospital in Miami is able to recognize the clinical signs of distemper. We see it all the time, and we are seeing it now.
|Buddha, one of our favorite patients, |
survived distemper as a puppy!
While there is no cure for canine distemper, there is an affordable, effective vaccine. Puppies require four boosters, administered three weeks apart. Adult dogs should be vaccinated every 12 months. I do not recommend three-year distemper vaccines for my patients as they have never been evaluated in a challenge-based study. The disease simply has too strong a foothold in our densely populated city. If you suspect your dog’s vaccine may be out of date, please give us a call and ask us to check your records. Your dog will be in good company - Grendel gets her annual vaccine in July!