Pet owners, beware of distemper outbreak

April 20, 2010

King County and state wildlife officials encouraged residents to avoid feeding wildlife, keep domestic pets away from wild animals and ensure pets have updated vaccinations, in response to a canine distemper outbreak last week.

King County Animal Care and Control responded to a report of a raccoon believed to have distemper in Gilman Village just after noon April 9. Officers took the animal into custody and had the animal euthanized by a local veterinarian. King County spokeswoman Christine Lange said officers did not take the animal to a shelter due to the highly contagious nature of canine distemper.

Officials also received reports of sick raccoons in Bellevue, Redmond and Renton. Officers also picked up three raccoon carcasses on the Eastside in recent days.

The county then submitted samples from a raccoon collected in Bellevue to Washington State University for disease testing. Results from the university lab confirmed the animal had canine distemper, Lange said.

Humans cannot contract canine distemper, but the disease spreads among dogs and ferrets, as well as wild animals, such as raccoons, coyotes, skunks and weasels.

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Raccoon behavior, including complaint from Issaquah, raises concerns about canine distemper

April 16, 2010

UPDATED — 12:18 p.m. April 16, 2010

King County and state wildlife officials encouraged residents to avoid feeding wildlife, keep domestic pets away from wild animals and ensure pets have updated vaccinations, in response to a suspected outbreak of canine distemper.

King County Animal Care and Control responded to a report of a raccoon believed to have distemper in Gilman Village just after noon April 9. Officers took the animal into custody.

Officials also received reports of sick raccoons in Bellevue, Redmond and Renton. Officers also picked up three raccoon carcasses on the Eastside in recent days.

The county submitted samples from a raccoon collected in Bellevue to Washington State University for disease testing. Results from the university lab confirmed the animal had canine distemper, King County spokeswoman Christine Lange said Friday afternoon.

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