Raccoons with distemper reported in Winnipeg and Headingley
2012-07-17 10:12:00 -0700
Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Several health and animal welfare agencies are warning dog owners about canine distemper after some raccoons tested positive in the Winnipeg and Headingley areas.
Canine distemper can easily spread from raccoons to dogs through contact with the infected animal or with their feces or other bodily fluids.
Reports of the disease have come from areas with high raccoon populations including near the Red and Assiniboine rivers and the Corydon area of Winnipeg.
Animals affected with canine distemper will behave disoriented or lethargic, with crusted eyes, excess mucus coming from their nose and shallow breathing. They usually have a "drunken gait". The disease affects motor skills and neurological function.
If people see raccoons in this condition they are asked to keep away from them and to make a report to the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.
Dog owners living in the affected areas are being urged to make sure their dogs have been vaccinated against distemper.
Owners should also avoid having their dogs come into contact with any wildlife and secure garbage around their home to discourage wildlife from approaching. Coyotes and skunks can also be affected by canine distemper.