Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Canine distemper ravaging the GTA

 Photos by Barry Wallace
King Township raccoons no exception
The great folks at the Toronto Wildlife Centre tell me that there is a widespread and serious outbreak of canine distemper in the Greater Toronto Area at the present time. They passed on this nugget of info when I visited their facility on the grounds of the old Downsview air force base, near Keele Street and Sheppard Avenue.   Canine distemper is a viral disease that can infect dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves, ferrets, skunks, raccoons and domestic cats.   The raccoon pictured above was sitting still in the middle of Bathurst Street, just north of Miller Sideroad, on Monday morning.   It looked up as I photographed it but seemed unable or unwilling to stand up or move about.   I made several calls to initiate a rescue, but was unsuccessful in reaching anyone who could or would help.   I finally decided to get the coon into the back of my Jeep and take it to my vet in King City.   It put up no resistance and stayed very still during the ride.   I covered it with my parka in an attempt to keep it quiet and immobile. The veterinarian and staff at Kingsdale Animal Hospital tried to contact several possible places to take in the raccoon but were unsuccessful until they connected me with the Toronto Wildlife Centre.   The people there couldn't have been more welcoming and receptive toward my furry passenger.   They speculated the raccoon had distemper and its prospects were not promising.   They invited me to check back at any time and they would update me.   I was very impressed with the TWC folks.   I would recommend them and their free services to anyone with a situation similar to mine.   My coon adventure meant I was unable to keep a luncheon date with daughter number one, Allison.   Sorry babe...another day soon.    

Please comment if you wish.
Barry Wallace