Illinois County Warns of ‘Zombie’ Raccoons That Can Harm Dogs
If you notice sleepy raccoons in your back yard, your dog's health could already be in jeopardy.
According to CBS Chicago, you should pay close attention to the raccoons in your neighborhood. Already found in Cook County, "zombie-like" raccoons are leaving traces of the canine distemper virus.
Canine Distemper, via WebMD, is a virus that affects a dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye.
Raccoons that are infected with the virus have distinguishable traits that set them apart from your everyday raccoon.
If you notice raccoons in your backyard or in your neighborhood that are out during the middle of the day, moving extremely slowly and not seeming to care of their surroundings, they probably are infected with canine distemper. You may even notice a raccoon laying down awake in the middle of your yard during the day. These raccoons can leave traces of the virus that your dog can pick up.
According to PetMd, the virus can be spread through the air and by both indirect and direct contact with an infected animal.
There is no known cure.
In order to protect your dogs, make sure to get them vaccinated.