Rescue dog tests positive for life-threatening virus at Calgary Animal Shelter – Calgary

The Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AARCS) in Calgary is in an outbreak after a rescue dog test returned that detected a potentially deadly virus.

“We had a positive dog test for distemper,” said AARCS executive director Deanna Thompson.

“So we have gone into full lockdown here at AARCS and have a number of dogs in quarantine. Unfortunately we also had two puppies with (who) had to be put down.

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The shelter believes the virus was introduced to the shelter two weeks ago after taking in several unvaccinated rescue dogs from a community east of Calgary.

“Unfortunately, if they had been vaccinated, they never would have received it, Thompson says.

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“I think that’s what we really want to get across to the public is to get your animals vaccinated so they don’t have to go through what these guys did.”

Distemper is an incurable airborne disease occurring primarily in unvaccinated dogs.

Shelter veterinarian Dr Marta Gunn says once a dog is infected, the virus must run its course, affecting their respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

“In these dogs, we’ll see seizures,” says Gunn.

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“We’ll see ataxia where they can’t walk properly, involuntary muscle twitches and if they progress to neurological signs, often those symptoms, even once they’ve recovered, they can last a long time,” he adds. -she.

The shelter will keep more than a dozen dogs in quarantine as a precaution for two weeks with the plan to test the dogs occasionally in fourteen days.

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However, with the cost of vet bills, they are now appealing to the public for help.

“We expect the cost of maintaining our quarantine to exceed $15,000 over the next two weeks,” says Thompson. “So we’re reaching out to the public in the hope that they’ll come forward and help us get through this.”

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The shelter says several cases of distemper have been reported in the province.

Dog owners at a nearby dog ​​park say they took the necessary precautions against the preventable virus by vaccinating their animals, knowing the virus could be there.

“But at the same time, I can’t let that stop me from exercising my dog ​​and coming here. He likes that a lot, so taking that out of his life, I don’t think that would be healthy either,” says Calgary resident Phoebe-Anne Worby.

“There’s not much you can do,” says Neel Reniga, who says his dog needs exercise, “so we have to go out, but she’s, you know, part of the family so we take her out but we go also take our appropriate precautions as we must,” he concluded.

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