Infectious Virus Threatens Our Pets

30 Jan 2013

Distemper Outbreak – North Texas

Infectious Disease Outbreak Threatens Pets

WFAA Channel 8 news reported tonight there is a distemper outbreak in North Texas. In the past three weeks, 49 infected raccoons have been captured. They report the infectious viral disease can live in the air for 60 days, putting our pets at great risk for a horrific, often fatal illness. Vaccinations, awareness, and precautions are key to keeping our pets healthy.

Five Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe:

The City of Plano has issued a warning:

  • vaccinate your pets (list of low cost resources below)
  • keep pets away from wildlife
  • avoid leaving food outside which attracts wildlife
  • if you believe your pet is ill, seek medical attention immediately for the best possible chance at survival
  • if you see a raccoon or other wildlife animal acting ill, do not attempt to capture, but contact your City animal control or local wildlife organization immediately

On their website they write:

Raccoons can be infected with both the canine and feline strains of the virus which means dogs and cats that come into contact with them are in danger of being exposed. To keep your pets healthy, do not let them roam freely in your neighborhood or in parks.

Warning Signs of Distemper:

  • runny nose
  • eye discharge
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • paralysis
  • dehydration (due to vomiting and/or diarrhea)

Seek medical help immediately if your pet exhibits any of these symptoms.

Low Cost Pet Resources for Pet Owners:

Please assure your pets are current on their vaccinations. Click here for a list of low cost vaccination clinics across Texas.

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  1. I have all my pets current on their shots. I live in a wooded area where there are racoons. Are they safe since they have their shots?

    • Hi Angela, best to ask your vet. The news reports indicated that, and the other precautions listed in the article to be taken, but asking a vet is best if you have concerns. The report said the virus can live in the air for 60 days.

  2. ABSOLUTELY not true the disease lives in the air for 60 days! INFORM yourself.. do your own research!!!!! That being said it is a deadly disease and probably the greatest threat to wildlife anywhere! Again, educate yourself if you have an animal!!! Like any vaccination is is not 100% always use caution with viral illnesses!

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