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AZ animal advocates warn of fatal dog disease

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Animal advocates are warning Arizona dog owners about an often fatal disease that's on the rise this year.

The Arizona Humane Society has issued a health alert about distemper.

Distemper is a highly contagious disease that is shed in secretions of infected animals and spread by breathing.

The virus infects the lymph nodes and spreads to the blood and cell line of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and center nervous systems.

Symptoms include discharge from the eyes and nose, coughing, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.

The Humane Society says that dog owners should be vigilant about updating their pets' vaccinations and be careful when allowing their dogs around unknown dogs.

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