Pinellas to Dog Owners: Don’t Take Unvaccinated Pets to Fort DeSoto Park
The temporary recommendation comes after two raccoons tested positive for canine distemper.
ST. PETERSBURG – 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 Fort De Soto Park until further notice.
This recommendation comes because two raccoons at the park, 3500 Pinellas Bayway S in St. Petersburg, tested positive for canine distemper virus.
Pinellas County Animal Services has received no reports of exposures to pets from the infected raccoons. The tested raccoons no longer pose a threat to park visitors and pets. Pet owners should continue to avoid the park 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. Animal Services strongly encourages every pet owner to establish a relationship with a veterinarian. This relationship is essential for a pet’s health and longevity and is an important component of responsible pet ownership.
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
For information about Pinellas Animal Services, go to pinellascounty.org or call (727) 582-2600.
Pinellas Animal Services | Pets | Fort DeSoto | Dogs | Tampabay News
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