Canine Distemper Outbreak Reported in Winnipeg, Headingley

A raccoon infected with canine distemper (FRESHARE.NET)

Pet owners are being advised of a canine distemper outbreak suspected in Winnipeg-area raccoons.

Manitoba’s chief veterinarian says there have been a number of reports of raccoons displaying symptoms of canine distemper in Winnipeg and Headingley in the past month, particularly near the Red and Assiniboine rivers as well as the Corydon Avenue area.

Canine distemper can easily spread from raccoons to dogs, hindering their mental abilities and motor skills. Dog owners living in the affected areas are advised to have their pets vaccinated against distemper and to prevent contact between dogs and wildlife.

Infected raccoons act very disoriented or lethargic, with crusted eyes, excess mucus coming from the nasal area, and shallow or laboured breathing. Residents who see a raccoon in such a condition are asked to keep people and pets well away from it and report it to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship at (204) 945-5221.

Humans are not at risk from the disease.

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