Citizens, Beware: There’s Canine Distemper in the Air

An outbreak of a virus known as canine distemper is spreading amongst raccoons throughout the Greater Toronto Area. In fact, the city has seen hundreds of distemper cases in raccoons over the past few years.

Although we are immune to the virus, there are many ways humans can be negatively impacted by distemper.

Raccoons with Distemper are Ill-tempered

Distemper effects the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, spinal cord, and brain of a raccoon. Common symptoms are high fever, eye inflammation, eye and nose discharge, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

People often confuse distemper for rabies because infected raccoons become more aggressive, disoriented, and aimless. Since they aren’t comfortable with their surroundings, afflicted raccoons feel cornered and threatened, which is why they’re more likely to attack.

We suggest keeping your distance if you witness any raccoon displaying any of these symptoms.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Toronto police were informed of several incidents involving rabble-rousing raccoons two weekends ago:

  1. An animal complaint near St. Clair Avenue East and Danforth Road alleged a raccoon chomped through a man’s shoe, biting his toe.
  2. In another fracas, a victim was allegedly struck by a vehicle while attempting to flee from an unwieldly raccoon.
  3. Last but not least, a raccoon was apparently terrorizing commuters in a Scarborough bus shelter.

Many experts are correlating the spike in raccoon-related kerfuffles with the spike in distemper cases.

Beware of Dog

Even if your dog doesn’t directly encounter a raccoon, they could still catch the life-threatening virus. One way distemper spreads, is when your dog contacts infected fecal matter and urine. Thus, your canine’s affinity for sniffing out and eating the aforementioned bodily wastes is a direct pathway to infection.

We strongly recommend getting your dogs vaccinated—half of distemper cases are fatal, and even if your dog survives, they’ll suffer immeasurable neurological damage. If your dog isn’t vaccinated yet, keep them on a leash during walks and scope out your backyard before letting your pup out.

An “On-growing” Problem

Whether they’re invading subways, shutting down banks, or causing bitter feuds between neighbours, the bandit-faced rodents find a way to inconvenience the people of Toronto. The distemper outbreaks are just another blip in a long line of raccoon-based misadventures within our great city.


Are you currently dealing with a raccoon infestation in your home or commercial building? If you don’t deal with it fast, your “problem” will escalate into full-on catastrophe—raccoons’ proclivity for pandemonium is as proficient as our raccoon removal services.

At Terminix Canada, we offer environmentally friendly pest and wildlife control, removal and prevention throughout the Greater Toronto Area. And once we get rid of your raccoon problem, we’ll help ensure it won’t return!

If you have a wildlife or pest problem, contact us for a free consultation!