• Raccoons test positive for canine distemper, highly contagious disease


    PITTSBURGH - You’ve heard stories recently about raccoons and rabies. Now officials say five raccoons in our area have tested positive for canine distemper virus.

    “Canine distemper is an often fatal disease caused by canine distemper virus.  It is a common cause of mortality in several species of wildlife, such as gray foxes, raccoons, skunks and coyotes.  Clinically, the virus can cause disease with symptoms that appear identical to rabies” said Dr. Justin Brown, wildlife veterinarian with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.  


    According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Allegheny County Health Department, five strange-acting raccoons tested positive for the virus.

    The raccoons were among 40 collected in Ross Township in August and September after complaints about bizarre behavior from raccoons and groundhogs.

    Canine distemper virus does not affect people, but the Ross Township police would like to remind people to make sure their pets are current with vaccinations against the disease, and have their required rabies vaccinations.  

    CLICK HERE for more information about canine distemper.



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