Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 8:29 pm | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Santa Barbara County Confirms Cases of Distemper in Wildlife, Reminds Pet Owners to Vaccinate Dogs

Santa Barbara County Animal Services has confirmed multiple cases of distemper in wildlife, especially raccoons, on the South Coast.

Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system, county officials said in a news release.

Although humans cannot catch the illness, unvaccinated dogs are vulnerable.

The symptoms of distemper include moving slowly, stumbling, and appearing blind and/or confused.

“They may lose their fear of humans, and can become aggressive if cornered,” according to the county. 

Distemper is most commonly spread through coughing infected respiratory secretions, but can also be shed through most other bodily secretions, including urine.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services warns that if a member of the public observes a raccoon or other wildlife behaving abnormally or acting sick, to call 805.681.5285.

All dogs should be kept on a leash and pet owners should also avoid leaving their food outside that could attract wildlife, county officials said.

Animal Services also urges pet owners to vaccinate their dogs.  

C.A.R.E4Paws is hosting a vaccine clinic 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Barbara Eagles, 923 Bath St.

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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