Raccoons euthanized after testing positive for distemper virus

Published 7:00 am Thursday, April 12, 2018

Two raccoons were recently euthanized after testing positive for the canine distemper virus.

According to a release from the Picayune Police Department, on April 6, an injured raccoon on 6th Avenue was found by a concerned citizen. On being examined by wildlife recuse personal, the animal was determined to have the canine distemper virus, the release states.

In a separate incident, an Animal Control Officer found another raccoon on Stephens St., which also displayed distemper virus symptoms on April 9.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Both raccoons were later euthanized to prevent further spread of the virus, the release states.

The canine distemper virus is believed to be contagious to dogs, cats and wildlife and although it’s usually spread through the air, food, water and equipment can also be a method by which the virus is introduced to another animal.

Infected animals have been reported to carry the virus for months. Pregnant animals also have the potential to transmit the virus to unborn offspring, the release states.

Common symptoms for an animal with canine distemper include a pus-like discharge from the eyes, fever, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions, seizures and partial to complete paralysis.

All domestic animals should be regularly vaccinated to prevent infection of the virus to prevent its spread, the release states.

Cindy McDonald, volunteer coordinator at the Pearl River County SPCA said the wellness clinic set for April 21 will be offering shots for protection against the distemper virus at a cost of $8.

The clinic will be held at Jack Read Park on Goodyear Blvd. in Picayune at 10 a.m. For more information contact SPCA at 601-798-8000.