Distemper outbreak in L.A. County; Long Beach urged to protect pets

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protect pets from raccoons distemper outbreakThe Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health & Rabies Control Program has identified an outbreak of Distemper in wild raccoon populations across Los Angeles County. Although none of the cases have been identified in Long Beach, clusters of cases have been identified in several areas across the county, including San Gabriel mountain foothill communities, Rancho Palos Verdes communities and nearby Seal Beach.

The Distemper outbreak has also spread to other species, including dogs, coyotes, foxes and skunks. Due to the close proximity of the cases, Long Beach residents are advised to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of Distemper in their pet dogs.

Long Beach residents are advised to report any suspected symptoms of Distemper in family pets to their personal veterinarian. Animal control agencies across the county, including Long Beach Animal Care Services, will work with veterinarians and wildlife agencies to report any suspect cases of Distemper in both wildlife and domestic dogs to the Los Angeles County Veterinary Program, which is leading the investigation.

Distemper symptoms in dogs and raccoons may include one or more of the following:

  • Tired looking
  • Nasal and eye discharge
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Low appetite
  • Fever
  • Twitches and seizures
  • Death

What should you do to protect your pet from Distemper?

  • Keep your dog away from raccoons
  • Make sure your dog’s Distemper (DHPP) vaccination booster is up to date
  • If your dog is sick, keep it away from other dogs and contact your veterinarian
  • Never feed wild life. Keep pet food and water bowls indoors, especially at night

If you encounter a sick raccoon or any other type of sick wildlife, do not attempt to capture the animal, but call Long Beach Animal Care Services at 562- 570-PETS (7387).

For those living outside of Long Beach please contact your local animal control agency. For a list, see www.publichealth.lacounty.com

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