English | Dzongkha Sunday, May 16, 2021

Canine Distemper Virus outbreak subsiding


Oct 18, 2019

Over 40 cases of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) have been reported at the National Veterinary Hospital located in Motithang since its outbreak among the stray dogs in August, this year.

The National Veterinary Hospital treated 43 dogs infected with the CDV since the outbreak of the disease. The CDV was diagnosed based on clinical signs and rapid test. However, the virus only affected stray dogs as the dogs were not vaccinated against the disease.

“First sign will be high temperature, other than that as the disease progress they get the second infection. A lot of nasal discharge- discharge from the nose then you get from the eye then slowly this virus affects the nervous system so if the nervous system is involved you get nervous signs like the involuntary movement of a part of a body- epileptic fits type. You also get twisting of muscles so these are all nervous signs,” said Dr Kinley Dorji, the Chief Veterinary Officer at the National Veterinary Hospital.

According to the veterinary physician, only vaccination can prevent the disease. It will cost the pet owners about Nu 600 for the vaccine. Although CDV is a serious viral disease among the dogs, the virus does not pose any threat to the human being.

“Canine distemper is unlike rabies. Canine distemper is specific only in dogs so even if we come in contact with the virus we don’t get the disease. In fact, if canine distemper gets into our body, our body will produce antibody against the virus which will actually protect human from getting measles as this canine distemper virus and measles virus are antigenically similar,” he added.

Officially about 11 dogs succumbed to the CDV and the carcasses were safely disposed of in the biological pit of the National Centre for Animal Health located in Serbithang, Thimphu.

Meanwhile, going by the record with the National Veterinary Hospital, the number of CDV cases has been subsiding gradually. 

Kinzang Lhadon

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