Popular Arizona snowbird destination facing distemper outbreak
Now that fall is officially here and temperatures in some parts of the country are getting a little bit cooler, many snowbirds are gearing up for trips to their winter home-away-from-home.
With over 70 mobile home and RV parks and more than 6,000 spaces available, Quartzsite, Arizona, is a popular destination among many RV-loving retirees.
According to SnowbirdsDestinations.com, Quartzsite's population swells from less than 3,500 during the summer to more than 250,000 each winter, thanks to the arrival of snowbirds.
Many of these part-time residents also bring their pets with them for their stays, which can last up to six months each year.
But this year, pet owners are being warned about a canine distemper outbreak that could affect their animals.
The Quartzsite Times newspaper reports that there has been an outbreak of the disease in Quartzsite as well as other Arizona locations including Flagstaff, Kingman, Parker and Lake Havasu City.
Symptoms of canine distemper include rapid weight loss, loss of appetite, coughing, discharge from the eyes and mouth and muscle and respiratory spasms.
Snowbirds who are travelling with dogs this year are urged to ensure their animals are up to date on their vaccinations, including a distemper vaccination, to help keep their pets healthy.