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The Importance Of Pet Vaccinations

Midland, TX (Big 2 News) - Animal rescue shelters are facing a constant problem.
Midland, TX (Big 2 News) - Animal rescue shelters are facing a constant problem.

"It's just rampant in Midland," said Beth Clodfelter, manager of Lone Star Sanctuary.

What Clodfleter is talking about, are viral diseases like parvo and distemper.

"I think the dry heat is part of what helps it spread so rapidly," Clodfelter said.

According to Clodfelter, distemper is a disease that attacks the neurological system in dogs and causes a breakdown.

"They kind of start with a slow twitch and eventually it leads to organs which can lead to seizures which can lead to death," Clodfelter said.

But that wasn't the case with Charlotte, a dog who caught the disease as a puppy. Three years later she's alive and living well.

According to officials from the Midland Humane Coalition, some dogs who survive distemper may not see major effects until later in life.

"A lot of times they have neurological signs later in life even after you've saved them with distemper," said said N. "Steg" Stegall, executive director of the Midland Humane Coalition.

While shelters see common bacterial infections like tick fever and kennel cough, the chances of a dog catching viral infections like distemper and parvo are slim to none once they receive vaccinations; a simple solution to a serious problem.

"People don't realize you can walk somewhere with parvo and distemper on your shoes and transmit it," said Clodfelter.

Many vaccinations require multiple visits and the timing for each shot must be done correctly.

"If you get a shot and then you wait two months, well, they have to redo them again," Stegall said.

For this graduate of obedience training, Charlotte's only side effect left from distemper is a little movement causing her to never sit still.

"Mentally, she's all there she loves her food, she loves her treats, just like a normal dog," Clodfelter said.

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