Canine Distemper Case Confirmed At Morristown Shelter

Friday, January 14, 2022
A puppy at the Morristown Hamblen Humane Society exhibited symptoms of distemper last weekend. On Monday, the mother and rest of the litter were confirmed positive after MHHS Director Pam Velder submitted samples to the virology laboratory at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. MHHS staff followed best practices by immediately testing symptomatic puppies and starting a risk assessment of all other dogs in the facility. This process is ongoing. The shelter continues to vaccinate all dogs against the canine distemper virus upon arrival at the shelter and two weeks later.   
 
In October 2021, UTCVM reported the first case of canine distemper virus at the shelter and noted increased numbers of symptomatic raccoons in the community.
The virus circulates through wildlife approximately every five to seven years, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency website. During this time, dogs are at a much higher risk of contracting the disease and spreading it in neighborhoods and at the shelter.   
 
MHHS is working with the Shelter Medicine Service UTCVM to minimize the lives lost in this outbreak. Without an isolation area for exposed dogs, the shelter may limit the admission of dogs for at least a two-week period. This will be a rapidly changing situation; please call the facility at 423-581-1494 before taking dogs to the shelter or visiting.  
 
Canine distemper is a highly contagious virus and can be fatal. It can affect the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of dogs and ferrets, as well as wildlife such as raccoons, foxes, coyotes and skunks. It is spread through all respiratory secretions and bodily waste. Pets interacting with wildlife or exposed to their waste are at risk of contracting the canine distemper virus. 
 
While young animals are the most vulnerable, unvaccinated dogs of all ages are susceptible. Symptoms range from no visible signs of illness to mild respiratory issues such as a runny nose and eyes to severe respiratory symptoms, thickened footpads or nose skin, seizures, neurological deficits and decline. Animals can be contagious for months. 
 
There is no cure for canine distemper infection. Treatment includes supportive care, but some dogs will not survive. “This disease is highly preventable when dogs are properly vaccinated by a veterinarian. The vaccine is very effective and is far less expensive than treating the disease or losing your pet to the virus. I highly recommend all dog and ferret owners make sure their pets’ distemper vaccination is up to date,” says Dr. Becky DeBolt, clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine at the veterinary college. 
 
Dog owners should also use caution when socializing puppies or unvaccinated dogs where dogs congregate, such as parks.

Tennessee State Veterans Home Announces Courtney B. Washington As Administrator

"All Abroad” Gallery Opens At Erlanger

Erlanger Announces Believe Bash Gala Fundraiser, Set For April, 2023


Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes Board announces the appointment of Courtney Bledsoe Washington as administrator of the new Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Cleveland. "In this role, Courtney ... (click for more)

Arts at Erlanger announces the “All Abroad” gallery opening at Erlanger Baroness Hospital in the gallery corridor. The juried gallery consists of a multitude of different mediums including ... (click for more)

Erlanger Health System Foundation announced plans are underway to roll out the red carpet for the 2023 “Believe Bash” gala. The annual fundraiser gala will admire the glitz and glamour of ... (click for more)



Living Well

Tennessee State Veterans Home Announces Courtney B. Washington As Administrator

Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes Board announces the appointment of Courtney Bledsoe Washington as administrator of the new Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Cleveland. "In this role, Courtney will lead the opening of the new Cleveland facility and oversee the daily operations of the Home," officials said. "She will direct the hiring and training of employees as well as oversee ... (click for more)

"All Abroad” Gallery Opens At Erlanger

Arts at Erlanger announces the “All Abroad” gallery opening at Erlanger Baroness Hospital in the gallery corridor. The juried gallery consists of a multitude of different mediums including paintings and photographs inspired by the beauty and mystique of travel beyond the United States. Artists include Gay Arthur, Anne Bordash, Donna Bourdon, Lydia Bradley, Thomas Cory, Steven ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Couple Shot In Hixson As They Lay In Bed Early Thursday Morning

Chattanooga Police said two people were shot early Thursday morning as they lay in bed at their residence in Hixson. At 1:30 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a shooting at 4900 Lavender Trail. Police were advised that two people suffering from non-life threatening injuries had driven themselves to a local hospital for treatment. They were a man 22 and a woman 26. ... (click for more)

Biden Administration Announces $25 Million for Wilcox Bridge, $14.6 Milllion To Dunlap For Highway 127 Intersection Improvement

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on Thursday announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $63 million to support three projects in Tennessee from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program to help move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation and ... (click for more)

Opinion

A City In Search Of A Symbol - And Response

Assurances have been given of a much larger and varied utilization of the 141-acre former Wheland Foundry/U.S. Pipe site, not merely a new stadium for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Discussion of the proposed new stadium for Chattanooga has dominated the use of the dormant site. Additional usages of the property itself as well as “ripple effects” of the development intentionally move ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Freaks Of College Football

It has been almost 20 years since Bruce Feldman, a marvelous sportswriter for theathletic.com and Fox Sports, came up with the idea of identifying the “Freaks” of college football. Wait, being called a freak is a good thing, a very good thing, on a football team. It means you are so strong or so fast or so “athletic” that your own teammates and coaches stand in awe, be it in the ... (click for more)