Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Free parvo/distemper vaccine clinic in Bakersfield, Jan. 15

This free parvo/distemper vaccine clinic is available to all residents in 93301, 93304, 93305, 93306, 93307, 93308, Arvin, Lamont and Tehachapi. On Saturday, January 15 at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at F&M Fabrics Parking Lot & Frontage Road, 2954 Niles Street, Bakersfield. Drive through and walk-up.

Over the last four months we have seen a huge increase in the number of dogs getting distemper both from the local shelters and in the community. We will be doing drive-thru and walk-up parvo/distemper vaccines to owned dogs in the areas we are seeing the highest number of cases come from.

One of our rescue partners that specialized in saving the most vulnerable population of shelter dogs: underage puppies, pregnant and nursing moms and medical dogs has had over 28 dogs test positive for distemper and has spent $30,000 plus in veterinary care. Sadly, by the time they were tested almost half had neurological symptoms and have been humanely euthanized.

Unity K9 Express Rescue has two dogs, both nursing moms, currently in our care that have Distemper and we have sent over 20 to 30 dogs to other rescues in California that have also developed this horrific disease.

Many local and out of town rescues are not pulling from the city or county shelters which only compounds the problem and increases the number of dogs in the shelter where distemper is highly contagious.

Distemper is airborne when dogs cough or sneeze and can be easily transmitted on shoes, clothing and by touching multiple dogs and coming in contact with body fluids.

The only way to get ahead of this outbreak is to vaccinate owned pets in the neighborhoods we have identified the positive cases have come from.

Distemper is often referred to as the great pretender as it looks like a variety of common dog ailments. The upper respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing can look like Kennel Cough or when combined with nasal discharge or goopy eyes could be mycoplasma or pneumonia.

The gastrointestinal symptoms look like parvo, worms, or parasites and while testing and treating for these other common ailments distemper is slowly taking over.

When dogs are finally PCR tested the tests take a week to 10 days to get results and by that time it is often too late as the dogs develop neurological symptoms including twitching, not being able to hold their head up or difficulty standing. Finally, they have seizures and it's too late.

On a positive note, the distemper part of the combo vaccine is very effective and can start offering immunity within hours of vaccination up to three to five days to be fully protected.