Animal control warns of distemper
Pulaski County Animal Control Officer John Kleinofen warns pet owners that a case of distemper has been reported in the southwest part of the county.
On Oct. 20, Kleinofen said he received a call of a property owner who saw raccoons that appeared to have distemper, a virus that is highly contagious to puppies and dogs.
Distemper is usually spread by the secretions from an infected animal’s cough or sneeze and affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. It is often fatal. It is not often a concern for humans but they can get the virus with no effects, according to Vetinfo.com.
Animals that can carry distemper include dogs, raccoons, foxes, wolves, skunks and ferrets. Animals that contract the virus will show symptoms of nasal discharge, coughing, vomiting and diarrhea. Raccoons will appear to be lethargic or tame.
Sporadic outbreaks of distemper are not uncommon. Tippecanoe River State Park Property Manager Vernon Gillum said at this time he hasn’t seen any signs of distemper in the raccoons at the state park property.