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Canine distemper outbreak: protect your pet and our wildlife from this deadly disease

Distemper cover 16012024
Distemper cover 16012024

What is Canine distemper?

Canine Distemper is one of the most serious diseases. It is a viral disease, highly contagious and can easily spread from one animal to another in enclosed spaces.

Who is affected by the virus?

It is a type of virus that affects dogs, but in Costa Rica it has also been diagnosed in raccoons, coatis, coyotes and gray foxes. Worldwide it has also been diagnosed in bears, hammerheads, lions, tigers and a type of distemper in seals as well. This virus causes high mortality and those that manage to survive can have lifelong consequences and continue infecting other animals.

There is no evidence that this virus affects people, that is, humans are NOT infected with this virus.

What are the symptoms?

  • Nasal and eye discharge
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Walking in circles or with difficulty
  • Diarrhea
  • Tics or involuntary movements
  • Headache (pressing the head against objects)

How does it affect the animals?

This virus is transmitted by direct contact between infected animals (dog – wild animal, wild animal – wild animal) or contact of a healthy animal with the body secretions of an infected animal (nasal or ocular secretion, urine, feces, saliva).


The Canine Distemper Virus hasan incubation period of about 1 to 2 weeks, sometimes reaching 4 to 6 weeks.

How can you prevent Canine Distemper?

how to avoid it 1

1. Vaccination

The best prevention is to be responsible owners and complete the dog’s vaccination schedule and not allow contact with wild animals.

2. Limit the contacts, keep distance

No permitir que ningún otro animal, doméstico o silvestre, entre en contacto con animales infectados o sus secreciones. Esto incluye no dejar disponibles platos de comida o agua.

3. Bring the animal to a vet or SINAC

En caso de sospechar que un animal está infectado, llevarlo inmediatamente con un veterinario y en caso de animales silvestres contactar con el SINAC.

4. Wash everything

Si su perro esta positivo o se estuvo en contacto con un animal infectado, se deben lavar muy bien todas las superficies, incluyendo cobijas o cualquier otro material. El virus es muy sensible y se puede utilizar cualquier desinfectante comercial (cloro, Lysol, entre otros).

5. DON‘T feed the wildlife

No alimente animales silvestres, al estar muchos animales juntos hace más fácil la transmisión de este virus.

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