Murray State University

Poster Title

Prevalence of Canine Distemper in Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

Canine distemper is a viral disease with a high fatality rate; about 50 percent of adult dogs and 80 percent of puppies who contract the disease die if left untreated. Preventative inactive vaccines for this disease were released in the 1940s, which were then replaced with a modified live vaccine in the 1960s. This modified live vaccine is nearly perfect at preventing contraction of the disease. Recently, some veterinarians have questioned the necessity of the current vaccine. Due to the risks all vaccines present, including this vaccine, it is in the best interests of the health of the animal to minimize the number of vaccines administered. Therefore, the Prevalence of Canine Distemper in Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee Project aimed to determine whether the vaccine was still necessary in western Kentucky and Tennessee with the hypothesis that if clear data was found verifying that the disease was no longer prevalent in the area, then the vaccine could potentially be removed from the list of core vaccines, thus reducing the number of required vaccines administered to canine patients and preventing unnecessary risk. Alternatively, if it was found that the vaccine was still necessary to prevent the spread of canine distemper, then veterinarians and researchers could be notified and steps for further prevention, such as perfecting recombinant CDV and DNA vaccines, could be taken. Dr. Dewees, my faculty mentor; Ms. Doom, my laboratory mentor; and I hoped to increase the health and general well being of animals within the researched area by deciding the current threat of canine distemper and determining the proper steps for further prevention of mass contraction by the canine population.

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Prevalence of Canine Distemper in Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee

Canine distemper is a viral disease with a high fatality rate; about 50 percent of adult dogs and 80 percent of puppies who contract the disease die if left untreated. Preventative inactive vaccines for this disease were released in the 1940s, which were then replaced with a modified live vaccine in the 1960s. This modified live vaccine is nearly perfect at preventing contraction of the disease. Recently, some veterinarians have questioned the necessity of the current vaccine. Due to the risks all vaccines present, including this vaccine, it is in the best interests of the health of the animal to minimize the number of vaccines administered. Therefore, the Prevalence of Canine Distemper in Western Kentucky and Western Tennessee Project aimed to determine whether the vaccine was still necessary in western Kentucky and Tennessee with the hypothesis that if clear data was found verifying that the disease was no longer prevalent in the area, then the vaccine could potentially be removed from the list of core vaccines, thus reducing the number of required vaccines administered to canine patients and preventing unnecessary risk. Alternatively, if it was found that the vaccine was still necessary to prevent the spread of canine distemper, then veterinarians and researchers could be notified and steps for further prevention, such as perfecting recombinant CDV and DNA vaccines, could be taken. Dr. Dewees, my faculty mentor; Ms. Doom, my laboratory mentor; and I hoped to increase the health and general well being of animals within the researched area by deciding the current threat of canine distemper and determining the proper steps for further prevention of mass contraction by the canine population.