Distemper is a highly contagious disease of carnivores caused by a paramyxovirus. In wild animals the majority of cases are seen in the spring and summer, but cases are observed year round.
Transmission occurs via an aerosol-droplet route, direct contact, or possibly by contact with contaminated objects.
In wild carnivores, signs of abnormal behavior and apparent lack of fear, suggestive of rabies, may be the only signs grossly visible. Often the animals are presented nasal discharge and the eyelids may be adhered together with crusty exudate. Neurological behaviors are often seen such as aggressiveness, disorientation, lack of alertness, convulsive movements of the head and paws, and aimless wandering.
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