Veterinary Public Health

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Veterinary Public Health Program
313 N Figueroa St. Rm 1127
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel (213) 288-7060
Fax (213) 481-2375
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Suspected Distemper in Gray Foxes, 2007-2008

Between November 2007 and April 2008, Monrovia Animal Control and the Pasadena Humane Society reported 34 Gray Foxes either found dead or sick along the foothills of the Angeles National Forest.  See map at right.

In one case, a complete necropsy arranged by Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health confirmed infection with Distemper virus. Several other foxes had symptoms compatible with Distemper.

Distemper is highly contagious amongst dogs, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and skunks and can cause die-offs in wildlife.

Foxes are often attracted to populated areas in order to get to food. Easily accessible food, such as pet food left outdoors, may encourage a fox to frequently visit a property (even if there is a risk of a confrontation with a dog). A fox may contaminate food bowls with Distemper virus and pass the virus to dogs. Or a fox may catch the virus from a sick dog through contact with contaminated food bowls and surfaces.

This virus is NOT contagious to people.

This outbreak serves a good reminder to keep all pet food indoors and to make sure all dogs a properly vaccinated against Distemper.

Click here to read more about Distemper.

2007 map Distemper in foxes in Monrovia in Los Angeles County

Last updated March 25, 2016


Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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