Canine Distemper Outbreak Discovered in Raccoons
Wildlife biologists are investigating an apparent outbreak of canine distemper in the local raccoon population.
In the past two weeks, Fish and Wildlife has collected eight raccoons turned up dead in Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Jacksonville and South Medford and six have been confirmed as suffering from distemper.
Last year six dead raccoons collected in Josephine and Jackson county tested positive for the disease. It does not affect people, but pets are susceptible, particularly if the owners haven’t kept up with distemper vaccinations.
Biologists are keeping tabs on distemper infected raccoons and foxes around people because symptoms can be similar to rabies. Fish and Wildlife biologists want to check every raccoon that died near people to test for distemper and rabies, which could pose a health threat.
Anyone who finds a dead raccoon near a house should call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 541-826-8778 to report it. If possible, double bag it, and wear gloves when handling it.