Pinellas County: Don’t Take Unvaccinated Pets to Chesnut Park
The advisory, which is temporary, came after a racoon infected with canine distemper was found.
PALM HARBOR – As a precautionary measure, Pinellas County Animal Services is advising pet owners to refrain from bringing puppies, senior dogs, unvaccinated dogs, or dogs that may have compromised immune systems to John Chesnut Sr. Park until further notice.
The recommendation was made because of the discovery at the park of a raccoon that tested positive for canine distemper virus.
Canine distemper is a virus that 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.
Animal Services has received no reports of exposures to pets from the infected raccoon. The tested raccoon no longer poses a threat to park visitors and pets. Pet owners should continue to avoid the park, 2200 East Lake Road in Palm Harbor, until further tests on other raccoons are completed.
Park visitors who encounter an animal that appears sick should immediately leave the area, contact a park ranger or call the Parks and Conservation Resources department at (727) 582-2100.
Animal Services reminds pet owners to keep vaccinations for their dogs and cats up to date to prevent the spread of diseases. Pet owners can get their pets vaccinated at their private veterinary clinic.
For information about canine distemper, go to the American Veterinary Medical Association at avma.org.
Animal Services | Dog Park | Distemper | John Chesnut Park | Palm Harbor | TB Reporter
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