Police Warning Chicago Area Dog Owners About "Zombie Raccoons"

Police are issuing a warning to all dog owners in the Riverside area to be on the lookout for a new predator. These so-called "zombie raccoons" have been infected with canine distemper virus.

Canine distemper virus is a highly contagious and very serious virus which attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. The virus can be transmitted in a variety of ways: through airborne exposure like sneezing or coughing, to shared food, water bowls, and equipment. An infected dog will shed the virus for months. Distemper causes serious and lifelong health issues, and can be fatal.

Symptoms include:

  • Discharge from their eyes
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Circling behavior
  • Head tilt
  • Muscle twitches
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Thickened and hardened footpads

If your dog shows any symptoms like this, it's imperative that you call your vet immediately! There is a vaccine, and police are urging dog owners to make sure your pups shots are all up to date!



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