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Butte Humane: Dog Distemper Cases Rising

The city of Chico says canine distemper cases are on the rise. Here's what you should know to keep your dog safe.

Posted: Oct. 15, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Oct. 16, 2018 9:27 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The city of Chico has an important message for all dog owners: Vaccinate your pets for canine distemper. 

The virus, if left untreated, can be fatal.

Representatives from Butte Humane Medical Clinic say distemper is highly contagious. The disease, we're told, attacks the animal's respiratory system, stomach, and intestines. Butte Humane adds that the best first line of defense is to properly vaccinate your dog.

"You're going to see animals acting tired, redness of the eyes, eye irritation, and nose discharge is the first sign," said Emily Acevedo, Clinic Manager of Butte Humane Society. "If the virus isn't caught early enough, those symptoms can progress to neurological systems."

Butte Humane advises keeping your dog away from the dog park, grooming salons or other areas where unvaccinated dogs could be. If you suspect your dog has already caught distemper, Butte Humane recommends you seek out vet care immediately.

There are allegations tonight that a local animal rescue is responsible for the increase in reported distemper cases.

We have reached out to that rescue for comment and will share any new developments in our investigation.

Should you have a tip related to this investigation, please email reporter Stephanie Lin at 

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