Dog owners watch out! Distemper virus in wild animals on the rise - more and more cases in Germany

Distemper cases are rampant this year in Germany among wild animals. Only a few days ago, cases were again reported in the Frankfurt city forest and in the Rhine-Siegkreis in North Rhine-Westphalia. But also in various regions in Lower Saxony, Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate deaths of wild animals by distemper accumulate. Besides martens and raccoons, foxes in particular are infected with distemper. The positive rate here is sometimes over 80%.

Canine distemper virus (CDV), colloquially known as canine distemper, is a highly contagious viral infectious disease in dogs and carnivores that is often fatal. Lung and intestinal inflammation, inflammation of the eye with accompanying blindness, as well as brain and nerve inflammation can occur in varying degrees during the course of the disease.

Since infection occurs through oronasal secretions (droplet infection), animals can become infected with canine distemper virus not only through direct contact with each other, but also through excretions of any kind from infected animals, but also through contaminated water or objects. For unvaccinated dogs or dogs with insufficient vaccination protection, the risk of distemper infection is therefore particularly high. To date, there is no antiviral therapy, symptoms caused by the disease can only be alleviated, but not cured.
Therefore, dogs and wild animals with distemper symptoms or suspicion should be treated immediately. Antigen detection in the form of rapid tests, which can be carried out immediately and without technical effort in veterinary practices and provide a result within a few minutes, provide rapid certainty.

Due to the acute danger for dogs and wild animals caused by more and more distemper cases in our region, caution is required. With the help of antigen tests, current distemper cases can be detected. With a proven vaccination protection we can go with our dogs without worries also in possible risk areas. The distemper vaccination belongs to the core vaccines. These vaccinations are classified as necessary by the Ständige Impfkommission Veterinärmedizin (StIKo) in Germany, so that as many animals as possible can be protected. After basic immunization, it should be checked after the third year whether there is sufficient immune protection or whether a booster vaccination is necessary. For this reason, high-ranking experts worldwide, such as the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Standing Commission on Vaccination in Veterinary Medicine (StIKo), recommend that, if possible, every animal should carry protective vaccine antibodies against the canine distemper virus.

Especially in the danger areas, dog owners should be attentive, check the vaccination cards and, if necessary, have the dog's current immune protection checked with an antibody test at their veterinarian. Here, too, there are already rapid tests for checking antibody titers. These are very inexpensive and show the vaccination status of the animal within a few minutes. Thus, not only the antigen detection is an important tool to correctly assess the danger districts, but also the antibody detection is an important diagnostic tool to determine the immune status of the dogs, so that a risk of infection is averted. Support and assistance with regard to diagnostics is offered by the German developer and manufacturer of rapid tests in the veterinary field, Fassisi GmbH from Göttingen. The antigen detection of distemper (Fassisi CanDis) and a vaccine titer control for the viral diseases distemper, parvo and adeno (Fassisi CantiCheck Plus) are also available here.