Veterinary Public Health

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Contact Information
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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Distemper Outbreak in Raccoons, 2014-2015

Beginning in early December 2014, Animal Control agencies in the South Bay area of Los Angeles began reporting an increase in raccoons with clinical signs of the disease Distemper. This disease is contagious to dogs. It can be prevented in dogs with vaccination and other steps.

Click here to read more about Distemper.


Between August 2014 and April 7, 2015 a total of 129 cases were documented across the southern area of Los Angeles County. See map at right. Cases of dead or injured raccoons in the area are also shown. Click here for a pdf version of the map.

  • Five cases were confirmed by necropsy. Immunohistochemical staining of organ tissue confirmed that they contained the canine distemper virus. One case was confirmed by PCR testing.

  • The other 123 raccoons had clinical signs of distemper (such as discharge from the eyes and nose, disorientation, and seizures), and were considered suspect cases.

  • 12 raccoons were tested for rabies - all were negative.

Reports of raccoons with Distemper
(as of Mar 27, 2015)


Distemper confirmed


Distemper suspected



Recommendations for Distemper Prevention in Dogs

  • Vaccination. Dog owners should make sure their pet’s Distemper vaccination is up-to-date.

  • NEVER FEED WILDLIFE. Do not invite raccoons or other wildlife to into your yard. Do not leave pet food or water outside. Keep trash in sealed containers.

  • Report Cases. Veterinarians should report any suspected cases of Distemper to our program by completing and faxing in  this case report form. Animal control agencies should also report any suspected cases of distemper in both dogs and wildlife.

Downloadable brochures about Distemper are available for free from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

                     2014-2015 raccoon distemper map Los Angeles County

2014-2015 raccoon distemper graph los angeles county

Updated 4/715

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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