KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Young-Williams Animal Center Village is temporarily closed after veterinary staff discovered three dogs had distemper, according to a social media post by the animal center.
Young-Williams said the location at 6400 Kingston Pike will be closed through Tuesday, September 12, as they test and quarantine animals as needed and conduct comprehensive cleaning.
“Thank you for your understanding and patience as we prioritize the health of our animals and take precautions to protect them,” Young-Williams said.
Spay and neuter appointments at the Village, which are located in a separate part of the building, will continue, Young-Williams said.
The Young-Williams Animal Center main shelter location at 3201 Division Street will remain open for pet adoptions and other services.
The animal center wrote that they will continue to share information about the planned reopening for the Village on Facebook. They also urged pet owners to make sure their pets are up to date on their vaccines, as vaccines are the best way to help keep pets healthy and stop the spread of contagious diseases, like distemper.
Canine distemper virus is a highly contagious and potentially fatal virus for dogs and other carnivores, like ferrets, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, that is transmitted through droplets, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
The most common signs of a distemper infection in dogs are fever eye, nose discharge, coughing, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and thickening or crusting on the nose and paw pads. In more severe cases, Cornell said neurological signs can also be seen, like stumbling or uncoordinated gait, muscle twitches, seizures, and paralysis.
Young-Williams said if your pet has symptoms of distemper or another disease, you should call your veterinarian’s office.
Dogs should receive three distemper vaccines, which are included in DHPP vaccines, between 6- and 18 weeks old, and then another DHPP vaccine at 12- to 16-months-old according to the American Kennel Club. Some sources, such as WebMD, also suggest boosters at least every three years after that.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated