Public Service Message: Raccoon Distemper
The City of Markham is experiencing an increased number of canine distemper cases in the raccoon population, particularly in the Thornhill area.
Canine Distemper is a highly contagious virus that is generally always present in the raccoon population at low levels. Unvaccinated dogs can also contract this virus. This virus is not transmittable to humans. No treatment exists for canine distemper which affects the nervous system of infected animals. Infected raccoons can become blind, dizzy, have seizures, and become aggressive if cornered.
Residents are advised to take the following precautions:
- Do not leave food outdoors. Remove your bird feeders, or make sure the area around the bird feeder is clean so you do not attract raccoons
- Ensure all garbage, recycling and green bin containers are stored securely.
- Keep your dogs on a leash, and scan your yard before letting them outside.
- Check with your vet to ensure your dog has been vaccinated against distemper
Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]
If you see a raccoon that you believe is sick:
Call the Toronto Wildlife Centre at 416 631 0662
For more information on raccoons visit the Toronto Wildlife Centre website at http://www.torontowildlifecentre.com/?s=raccoons.