Stay Up-to-Date

Humane Tales

Stay Up-to-Date

Rise in Canine Distemper Cases

Contact: Guinn Shuster
Cell: 801-638-4685
Email: [email protected]

Contact: Callista Pearson
Cell: 801-910-9079
Email: [email protected]

Press Release
The Humane Society of Utah and Salt Lake County Animal Services see a rise in canine distemper cases

Murray – Utah, 12/1/2021 – The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) and Salt Lake County Animal Services is notifying the public of a critical animal health situation along the Wasatch Front after seeing an increased number of dogs test positive with the canine distemper virus.
“Common signs of distemper in dogs include discharge from the eyes or nose, fever, coughing, lethargy, disorientation, tremors, and seizures.” Says Dr. Timna Fischbein, medical director at the HSU. “There is no treatment for distemper, so preventing the disease by getting your dogs vaccinated is crucial.”
Distemper is a highly contagious virus that can infect dogs and wildlife. However, puppies and unvaccinated dogs are at the highest risk for infection with distemper. Dogs can become infected from direct contact with a sick animal or being near an infected animal when coughing or sneezing. The virus can also be transmitted through shared food and water bowls or other objects that an infected animal contaminated.
“Many people add new puppies to their families during the holidays.” Says Guinnevere Shuster, associate director of marketing and communications at HSU. “We want to remind people to be cautious and keep their new furry family members safe by getting them vaccinated.”

HSU and Salt Lake County Animal Services shares the following advice for pet owners:

  • Vaccinate dogs: Puppies should receive a series of 3 or more distemper vaccines between 2 and 4 months. The vaccine should be boostered a year later, then every three years for life.
  • Protect your puppy: Keep puppies at home and away from unfamiliar dogs until they have completed the vaccination series. Use caution when socializing dogs or in high-traffic dog areas such as dog parks, dog daycare, and boarding facilities.
  • Keep dogs away from wildlife: Never allow companion dogs to have contact with wildlife.
Person wearing PPE holding a puppy


About the Humane Society of Utah

The Humane Society of Utah is dedicated to the elimination of pain, fear, and suffering in all animals. Since 1960, the Utah Humane Society has been sheltering homeless animals, fighting cruelty and neglect, and creating an atmosphere of respect, responsibility, and compassion for all animals. As the largest open-admission private animal resource center in the state, the Utah Humane Society welcomes any companion animal that can legally be admitted. We work hard to ensure that every healthy and treatable pet that enters the facility will be placed into a loving home. The Humane Society of Utah is a local, independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit organization that does not receive any state or government funding and is not a branch of any national organization. It is funded by the contributions of individuals, businesses, and foundations. Read more online at

4242 South 300 West Murray, UT 84107 / 801-261-2919 / / @utahhumane 

Save Lives Today