Distemper is most often found in raccoons and skunks, and occasionally fox. It’s highly contagious among these wildlife and often more than one animal in an area is ill. Unvaccinated dogs are also at risk, as distemper is highly contagious to dogs.
An animal with distemper may come out during the day, and may appear tame or unable to run away and hide. They may seem confused, wobble or shake when walking, and walk in circles. Their appetites are good and they will eat as normally as they’re able.
In the advanced stages the animal may have an iridescent greenish tinge to the eyes, and look thin with unkempt fur. They may have a runny nose or runny eyes but not always. The animal may also experience a seizure, raising its head, drawing back its lips and losing fine motor control.
If you suspect an animal has distemper, keep pets and people away from the area and call Dublin Police at 614.889.1112.
The distemper virus can live about 14 hours outside of the host. Natural elements (sun, rain, etc.) will kill the virus and disinfect the area within a 24 hour period, so pets are safe from contracting the virus after that time.
For questions contact Barbara Ray, Nature Education Coordinator at 614.410.4730 or firstname.lastname@example.org