Pinellas County Animal Control is alerting owners to keep unvaccinated dogs out John Chesnut Sr. Park after a raccoon there tested positive for canine distemper virus.
The agency says they haven’t had any reports of infected dogs, and want to keep it that way. Puppies, senior dogs, unvaccinated dogs or dogs that may have compromised immune systems should be kept out until further notice.
If you come across animals that appear sick, you should leave the area and call the Parks and Conservation Resources Department at 727-582-2100. And you should keep your pets’ vaccinations current to prevent the spread of disease.
Canine distemper affects a dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems, as well as eye membranes. The first signs of canine distemper include sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus. Pet owners are urged to seek immediate medical attention if their pets exhibit these symptoms. The virus spreads rapidly and must be aggressively treated as soon it is discovered.