West Island News
A virus among skunks is making Pincourt dogs very sick
Residents in Pincourt noticed throughout the Fall season that an unusual amount of skunks were turning up dead across the region. As concerns in the community continued to escalate, the Canadian Wildlife Health Network performed an autopsy on a skunk found within the territory. The report revealed that the skunk had died of the distemper virus.
Distemper, a highly contagious animal virus is most commonly found amongst skunks and raccoons, particularly in Quebec and Ontario.
Experts are warning of the virus' high contractibility. "It is transmitted mainly by aerosols and by oral, respiratory, and eye fluids. This virus is also excreted through the skin, as well as in the stool and urine, but these appear to be less infectious routes of transmission." (SOURCE)
To make matters worse, Distemper is contagious to domestic dogs. To avoid having a pet fall ill, it is recommended to have your dogs vaccinated on a regular basis. At this time, there is no evidence supporting the notion that the virus is contractible by humans.
If your pet is displaying unusual symptoms such as conjunctivitis, scabs, injuries on their foot pads, and behavioral changes, be sure to reach out to your local veterinarian. "Seizures are also frequently observed such as “chewing gum fit ” where the animal exhibits convulsive chewing of the jaws. Neurological disorders are similar to rabies." (SOURCE)
If you suspect your pet has been bitten by or come into contact with an animal infected by Distemper, contact your local animal expert immediately.
For more information on Distemper, be sure to consult the official disease information sheet.