SDF moves to stave off Phuket distemper outbreak

PHUKET: Soi Dog Foundation, one of Phuket’s leading animal welfare organizations, is calling for help in its efforts to prevent an island-wide outbreak of the dreaded canine disease distemper.

“Soi Dog is currently working around the clock doing mass vaccinations of dogs at temples and other locations. Distemper has been virtually eradicated in the west; however this is not the case in Thailand,” said SDF Vice President John Dalley.

“We get small outbreaks all the time, but never on this scale. We’re getting dogs from all over the place,” he said.

“The only effective way to eradicate distemper is to vaccinate all the dogs. We have already started vaccinating all dogs which have to stay at Soi Dogs for treatment. Any dog showing symptoms must be tested,” he added.

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The cumulative cost is significant. “Each vaccine jab costs 105 baht and each dog needs two vaccinations two weeks apart. The test to determine if a dog has distemper is 200 baht. This totals approximately US$13.50 or 10.50 euros per dog,” Mr Dalley explained.

Each dog that tests positive for distemper requires a minimum of seven days of intensive initial treatment.

“It costs 1,750 baht for the drugs alone, plus the cost of high-protein food. So more than 2,000 baht is required to treat each dog that tests positive,” Mr Dalley said.

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