Distemper epidemic hits dogs on Pacific coast

An animal welfare organization in Jacó is warning dog owners about an epidemic of distemper, a usually fatal disease of animals.

The organization is McKee-Jacó. It said in a newsletter that  “There is still a frightening number of distemper cases in the area spanning Tarcoles to Hermosa – every day many dogs are dying because of this highly contagious disease.”

The organization said that it was able to purchase 100 distemper tests but that some owners, even when their dog tested positive, chose to bring the animal back home.

McKee-Jacó staff members are worried about infected dogs running free giving the disease to other animals.

“If you decide to try any of the miracle treatments, please separate your animal from other dogs, and be aware of the long term effects of this disease, which can turn up months or even years later as convulsions and/or damage to the nervous system,” the newsletter said. “And please, please  don’t let your animal suffer – waiting and hoping is not effective and not humane.”

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