Distemper outbreak could pose a threat to pets - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Distemper outbreak could pose a threat to pets

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - Several cases of diseased wildlife are showing up in Orangeburg County. Officials there say they are dealing with a distemper virus outbreak and it could pose a threat to your pets.

So far, officials have caught seven raccoons and six foxes all with the distemper virus.

Authorities have caught the animals within city limits and say the outbreak may be caused by people feeding stray dogs and cats.

That leads to wildlife coming into neighborhoods looking for that food.

"You may be feeding, lets say stray cats, but your also feeding raccoons and any other wildlife  that come across this food at night," said Department of Natural Resources official Jay Butfiloski.

Distemper is a viral disease that mimics some of the symptoms of rabies. Crusting of the eyes and nose and loss of appetite are common. The virus can't be passed onto humans, but it can pose a danger to pets.

If you come across an animal with distemper virus, you are asked to call the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety at 533-5516. 

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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