Kansas veterinarians warn dog owners of diseased raccoons

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University’s Veterinary Health Center is warning dog owners to be careful amid a recent outbreak of a highly contagious disease among raccoons.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that veterinarians at the center say they’ve recently seen a high number of raccoons suffering from canine distemper. The viral disease can spread to susceptible dogs.

Kansas State wildlife professor James Carpenter says raccoons infected with the disease are often found outside during the day. He says they show abnormal behavior, such as incoordination, difficulty walking and aimless wandering.

Carpenter says it’s important for dogs to be vaccinated against the disease beginning at six weeks old. Once dogs are 20 weeks old, he says vaccinations should be done every one to three years.

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