Canine Distemper Diagnosed in Rescue Dog at the 2015 SoCal Pet Expo; 
Attendee Pets Also Exposed

A dog adopted at the 2015 SoCal Pet Expo from Dachshund Rescue - Los Angeles developed symptoms of canine distemper the night he was adopted. This pet may have exposed the general public’s dogs to this highly contagious and - often fatal - illness.
By: Amazing Pet Expos
LOS ANGELES - March 4, 2015 - PRLog -- Amazing Pet Expos, producers of the 2015 SoCal Pet Expo, which took place on February 21st and 22nd, announced today that they’d been made aware of a sadly unfortunate situation in which a rescue dog, adopted at the event, became critically ill and tested positive for distemper.

The dog - now named Simon - was adopted from Dachshund Rescue of Los Angeles (DRLA) and tested positive for canine distemper after developing symptoms Sunday (2-22) evening. Simon had been with DRLA at the expo all-day on both Saturday (2-21) and Sunday (2-22). During his time spent at the event, Simon would have been in contact with some of the estimated 3,500 dogs who also attended the pet expo. While Simon has spent the last week fighting for his life, it appears as if he’s now beginning to improve.

According to the Animal Hospital of Eagle Glen, who cared for Simon prior to his adoption, even though distemper is highly contagious, the chances are slim that vaccinated dogs exposed to Simon would be at risk for developing the illness and it’s “rare” to see the illness in adult dogs.

Canines most at risk after exposure include dogs vaccinated less than 14 days prior to exposure, puppies less than six months old and elderly pets. Cats, birds and other animals are not at risk of developing canine distemper, nor is it communicable to humans.

All those who attended the SoCal Pet Expo with cats or dogs were required to show proof of current immunizations, regardless of whether it was a member of the general public or a rescue group. “If you attended the event, you already know how important everyone’s safety is to us. We already have strict policies in place related to immunization requirements, pet behavior and adoption rules. Although we know that Simon didn’t become infected with distemper at the SoCal Pet Expo, this situation has given us pause to examine our current policies to see where we may have room for improvement. It’s our sincere hope that no one else will be affected by this awful illness and our thoughts are with both Simon and his wonderful new family,” explains Sheila Rilenge, President and CEO of Amazing Pet Expos.

Canine distemper is caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV). The virus is passed from dog to dog through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva. Sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls are all possible ways for the virus to be passed on. A dog will normally be ill with distemper for 10 to 14 days before he/she begins showing any symptoms. Early symptoms of distemper include lethargy, fever, eye and nose discharge, coughing, sneezing, vomiting and diarrhea - which normally progresses to other more severe symptoms, such as seizures. The illness affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system and, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Baker Institute for Animal Health, canine distemper is estimated to be fatal in 50% of cases affecting adult dogs and in 80% of cases affecting puppies.

To learn more about canine distemper, please click this link to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website:

The SoCal Pet Expo took place on February 21st and 22nd, 2015 at the Fairplex. This free, indoor and air-conditioned event attracted more than 22,000 attendees along with their furry, feathered and reptilian pals. The 2015 SoCal Pet Expo was produced by Amazing Expos, a leading event production company that currently organizes more than 30 large consumer pet-related expos across the United States and just celebrated it’s 100th pet expo in San Diego. For more information, call 800-977-3609, email or visit, or

Media Contact
Ethan Barnett, VP of Community Partnerships
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Tags:Pets, Dogs, Distemper, Rescue, Pet Expo
Industry:Event, Pets
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Mar 04, 2015

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