Picayune Police Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri provided this update as a public awareness for the community:
On April 6, 2018, an injured raccoon was found in the middle of the road on 6th Avenue by a concerned citizen and brought to his home until a wildlife rescue was contacted to pick the raccoon up. After the raccoon was picked up and assessed, it was determined it was suffering from a virus known as canine distemper.
On April 9, 2018, another raccoon was picked up on Stephens St by the Animal Control Officer. This raccoon was also showing symptoms of the distemper virus. Both raccoons were euthanized to prevent further spread of the virus.
The Canine Distemper Virus is contagious to dogs, cats, and wildlife. It is most commonly spread through airborne exposure, but can also be transmitted by shared food, water bowls, and equipment. Infected animals can spread the virus for months, and pregnant animals can pass it through the placenta to their unborn offspring.
Symptoms to look for in an infected animal include, but are not limited to:
pus-like discharge from eyes, fever, nasal discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, circling behavior, head tilt, muscle twitches, convulsions, seizures, and
partial or complete paralysis.
To prevent contracting and spreading this virus, all domestic animals need to be regularly vaccinated with the canine/feline distemper vaccine.
If you come in contact with any potentially infected wildlife, contact your local Animal Control Officer at City of Picayune (601) 798-7411 or Pearl River County (601) 798-5528.