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MESQUITE (CBSDFW.COM) – Officials in Mesquite are warning that there a possible outbreak of distemper in raccoons in their area. When transmitted, distemper can attack the nervous system and cause personal pets to act aggressively.

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Individuals in the city are being asked to contact Mesquite Animal Services if they see a raccoon salivating, turning in circles, with muscle twitches, convulsions or seizures.

In just the past few weeks, animal control has picked up 16 raccoons with symptoms often associated with distemper. All of the raccoons were found off of the South Mesquite Creek near DeBusk Park and Military Parkway. Blood tests are being done to confirm if the animals actually have the viral illness.

Pet owners in Mesquite are also being encouraged to make sure their pets have received their distemper vaccinations.

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The distemper virus poses no threat to humans, but is found in wildlife and can be easily transmitted to pets.

Mesquite Animal Services has issued the following precautions for residents:

  • Don’t feed raccoons.
  • Don’t allow your pets to run loose.
  • Take away pet food bowls at night.
  • Vaccinate your pets.
  • Place garbage bags inside trash cans with locking lids.
  • Monitor children’s outdoor activity closely.

Anyone seeing a raccoon with any of the above symptoms is being warned not to try to capture the animal and to call Animal Services at 972-216-6283. More information is also available on the City of Mesquite website.

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