As far as wildlife goes, raccoons are probably the most adorable examples. However, raccoons can also be dangerous if you happen to encounter one or more. Raccoons don’t necessarily have any desire to attack humans, but if they feel threatened they can bite. Sustaining a bite from a raccoon is a big deal since raccoons carry disease. The disease that you most often hear about being associated with raccoons is, of course, rabies. We hear about rabies often probably because humans can also contract rabies. However, there are other diseases that raccoons can spread to other animals like your pets, but humans cannot contract. Raccoons are known for carrying a disease called canine distemper, and although humans cannot contract this disease, you guessed it…dogs can contract canine distemper. Health officials within the United States are becoming concerned about the increasing reports of canine distemper across America.
This disease can be spread to dogs if they come into contact with a raccoon’s feces, saliva, urine or blood. However what is most troubling is that canine distemper can also spread through the air, which naturally makes this particular disease difficult to control. Most cases of canine distemper have been occurring in the northern region of the United States.
According to Dr. Joni Scheftel, humans cannot contract canine distemper, but a dog with canine distemper will appear to have rabies because the symptoms of each disease are similar. In case your dog has a case of rabies as opposed to canine distemper you don’t want to approach your pets if they are behaving aggressively or generally strange. Pet owners should make sure that their dogs are up to date on all of the necessary vaccines, and a close eye should be kept on your dog/s if you allow them outside. Keep your dogs safe this summer.
Have you ever heard of a dog that had contracted canine distemper from a raccoon?