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Raccoons with canine distemper spotted in city

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Dogs in Winnipeg and Headingley should steer clear of raccoons for the next little while.

For the last month, there have been a number of reports of raccoons displaying symptoms of canine distemper throughout the city and in the R.M. of Headingley.

Reports are coming from neighbourhoods that typically see large raccoon populations, including those around the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and Corydon Avenue, according to Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.

Canine distemper spreads easily between raccoons and dogs, and the disease leads to progressive deterioration of mental and motor skills in canines.

Dog owners can protect their pets from canine distemper through routine vaccinations, and by making sure dogs do not come into contact with wildlife.

Infected raccoons will appear disoriented with crusted eyes, have mucus coming from their noses, and show shortness of breath. Residents who see raccoons that fit this description are advised not to make contact with them, even though humans are not at risk for catching the disease. Instead, residents are asked to call Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship at 204-945-5221.

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