Lubbock Animal Services Give Local Veterinarians More Guidance on Recent Illness Outbreak at Shelter

On Monday, August 7, 2023, Lubbock Animal Services (LAS), in conjection with Lubbock Public Health and the Department of State Health Services, sent the following guidance to local animal health care providers:

Lubbock Animal Services is investigating a disease outbreak that has resulted in the death of multiple canines from hemorrhagic pneumonia. Initial testing and pathology reports indicate distemper and a subspecies of streptococcus equi. We ask that all veterinary clinics use enhanced infection control precautions when treating dogs adopted from the shelter after July 14, 2023. Out of an abundance of caution, Lubbock Animal Services has halted the movement of all animals into and out of the shelter.

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and other animals by attacking the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.

Lubbock Animal Services has implemented safety protocols to control the spread of the disease throughout the shelter and these control methods are proving to be successful. LAS staff is utilizing full personal protective equipment and is under strict sanitation protocols to prevent contamination spread. Staff are assigned to rooms, with a “sick team” and a “healthy team” to help prevent spread to any other animals in custody.

LAS will remain temporarily closed, and there will be no intakes or adoptions until further notice. Additionally, only City of Lubbock Animal Services staff will be permitted in the facility. No volunteers or members of the public will be permitted.

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