Distemper is a virus commonly found in raccoons and is the number one cause of natural death in raccoons. Raccoons that have distemper can be commonly mistaken for having the rabies virus. A blood test is needed for positive diagnoses.
The most noticeable symptoms of the distemper virus are the last to set in. Neurological problems will occur when the disease process is coming to an end and causes the raccoon to come out of hiding and in the middle of the day. Raccoons at this phase of the virus have seizures that affect the entire body, are more aggressive, and will attack without being provoked. In the early stages of distemper raccoons will have a mucous like discharge coming from their mouths, eyes and noses.
The distemper virus cannot be transmitted from animals to humans however it can be easily transmitted from animal to animal. There a large number of raccoons that reside in the city and are often reported to Animal Control.
Pet owners are encouraged to have their dogs and cats vaccinated to prevent the possibility of them contracting the distemper virus.
If you are uncertain about your pet's vaccination status and/or if you have questions about your pet's health call your veterinarian.