Cal­i­for­nia is see­ing rise in wildlife dis­tem­per cases

Antelope Valley Press - - NEWS -

SACRA­MENTO (AP) — Cal­i­for­nia au­thor­i­ties are warn­ing pet own­ers of an un­usu­ally high num­ber of ca­nine dis­tem­per virus cases in wildlife pop­u­la­tions statewide.

The Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife said Tues­day that un­vac­ci­nated do­mes­tic dogs can con­tract the dis­ease through con­tact with food or wa­ter bowls that in­fected wildlife can ac­cess.

Ca­nine dis­tem­per virus can in­fect a wide range of car­ni­vores but gray foxes, rac­coons and skunks are the most com­monly af­fected species.

Fish and Wildlife of­fi­cials said pet own­ers should be vig­i­lant about keep­ing their an­i­mals from com­ing into con­tact with wildlife.

They noted that just as wild an­i­mals can spread dis­tem­per to do­mes­tic dogs, an un­vac­ci­nated pet dog can spread the virus to wildlife.

Dis­tem­per can cause res­pi­ra­tory, neu­ro­logic and gas­troin­testi­nal ill­ness.

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