Case Report

Severe canine distemper outbreak in unvaccinated dogs in Mozambique

Julieta Zacarias, Alberto Dimande, Sara Achá, Paula T. Dias, Elisa M. Leonel, Aurora Messa, Baltazar Macucule, José L. Júnior, Custódio G. Bila
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 87, No 1 | a1350 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v87i1.1350 | © 2016 Julieta Zacarias, Alberto Dimande, Sara Achá, Paula T. Dias, Elisa M. Leonel, Aurora Messa, Baltazar Macucule, José L. Júnior, Custódio G. Bila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 October 2015 | Published: 15 July 2016

About the author(s)

Julieta Zacarias, Mozambican Institute of Agriculture Research, Maputo, Mozambique
Alberto Dimande, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
Sara Achá, Mozambican Institute of Agriculture Research, Maputo, Mozambique
Paula T. Dias, Mozambican Institute of Agriculture Research, Maputo, Mozambique
Elisa M. Leonel, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Maputo, Mozambique
Aurora Messa, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Maputo, Mozambique
Baltazar Macucule, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Maputo, Mozambique
José L. Júnior, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Maputo, South Africa
Custódio G. Bila, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique


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Abstract

Although significant animal suffering caused by preventable diseases is frequently seen in developing countries, reports of this are scarce. This report describes avoidable animal suffering owing to a suspected canine distemper (CD) outbreak in unvaccinated dogs owned by low-income families in Mozambique that killed approximately 200 animals. Affected dogs exhibited clinical signs, and gross and microscopic lesions compatible with CD. Immunohistochemical staining confirmed the presence of canine distemper virus (CDV) in the kidney of one dog from the cohort. This brief communication again illustrates that large outbreaks of CDV in unvaccinated dogs occur and that large-scale avoidable suffering and threats to the health of dogs and wild canines continue. Mass vaccination supported by government and non-government organisations is recommended.

Keywords: Canine distemper; dogs; outbreak; animal welfare; Mozambique


Keywords

Canine distemper; dogs; outbreak; animal welfare; Mozambique

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