Minnesota DNR Warns Distemper in Raccoons Can Spread to Dogs
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota officials are warning about a rising number of
reports of a disease in raccoons that can affect dogs.
The Department of Natural Resources says canine distemper cases have been
confirmed in Olmsted and Yellow Medicine counties, and that sick raccoons also
have been reported in Dodge, Winona and Kandiyohi counties.
Dr. Joni Scheftel, the state public health veterinarian at the Minnesota
Department of Health, says the virus does not affect humans. But she says
distemper can look like rabies, so it's important to stay away from sick
Infected animals behave abnormally, losing their fear of humans, stumbling,
shaking and can act overly friendly.
The DNR says pet owners should ensure their dogs are current on their
vaccinations. Pets should be kept away from sick or dead wildlife.