Another Distemper Death

Friday, March 27, 2009 - 6:06pm

Len Springer adopted duke after his 11-year-old Belgian Shepard, Bo, passed away.

"We went to the shelter after I saw a couple of Shepard's advertised on their website. They didn't catch my eye. I saw a beautiful dog and he would make a good ranch dog. That's what we were looking for...so we adopted Duke," Len said.

Len said he knew duke had an ear infection when he adopted him, but wasn't prepared for what came next.

"He showed signs of kennel cough. We started treating that with antibiotic."

Len said duke was later diagnosed with pneumonia and was treated at LSU.

"The same day he got back from LSU, he showed neurological signs of distemper. That progressed over the following week to where he had paralysis and we had to have him put down," Len said.

Mike Mouton, who over sees animal control, says he put a stop to adoptions yesterday because of this outbreak.

He also says with the new veterinarian they have on board, diseases like distemper will be easily controlled.

Len said while he's happy that animal control is taking the necessary steps to keep others from experiencing what he did—that doesn't take away the pain he feels from losing duke.

"He became a member of the family. He was a wonderful dog and exceptional dog. Our family became attached to him real quickly."

Since Distemper is highly contagious, Len says he will continue to monitor his other two dogs closely to make sure they don't start experiencing the same signs as Duke.