FRIENDSWOOD, TX (KTRK) --If you're in Friendswood, be wary of raccoon behaving unusually. It may be because of distemper.
According to city officials, there's been an increase in distemper cases over the last few weeks. Though some residents are concerned about rabies, lab testing has not shown any cases.
What the tests have shown is evidence of "canine distemper virus," which may make raccoons lethargic and appear sickly. The illness originates in dogs, but can spread to other animals, attacking the central nervous system.
If a raccoon is out during the day and appears lethargic or unafraid of humans, it could be a sign of distemper. Unfortunately, the disease is almost always fatal, meaning most afflicted raccoons will need to be euthanized.
Humans are immune, but dogs that haven't been vaccinated can become infected by raccoons carrying the disease.
If you suspect a raccoon in your area is suffering from distemper, call Friendswood Animal Control at 281-996-3300.