Cases of canine distemper in wildlife are soaring in certain parts of the United States. That puts some of our pets at greater risk, too.
Lots of wild animal are susceptible to canine distemper, including skunks, gray foxes and raccoons. Large felines are also at risk, but our domestic cats are not.
Like our colds, canine distemper virus spreads very easily. For example, unvaccinated dogs or ferrets can get canine distemper just by using food or water bowls that have been visited by wild animals. So, make it a point to clean up food and utensils that can attract wildlife.
Puppies as well as unvaccinated dogs and ferrets are at greatest risk of getting canine distemper, so follow your veterinarian’s vaccination guidelines. Canine distemper is a devastating, often deadly disease, so it’s not worth taking any chances.