THERE is no doubt there are few more adorable sights than the look of complete surprise on a puppy’s face after it delivers a bone-rattling sneeze.
But NSW’s first confirmed cases of a deadly dog virus in nearly a decade has local vets urging owners to ensure their pet’s vaccinations are up to date.
Sneezing, coughing, weeping eyes, a runny nose, lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea can all be early symptoms of the rare viral disease canine distemper.
Two recent outbreaks of distemper among puppies in Kempsey and Goulburn have shocked animal experts – many of whom have never come across the disease before.
Vet Tim Quast, of Tamworth’s Piper Street Veterinary Clinic, said it was vitally important that all owners get their puppies vaccinated at six, 10 and 14-16 weeks.
“Pups are more susceptible to the virus than older dogs,” he said.
“But if you’ve got a dog that hasn’t ever been vaccinated before, it’s never too late to start.”