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Canine Distemper Outbreak Kills Seven Animals At Exotic Feline Rescue Center
Updated December 16, 2015 8:12 AM
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(CLAY CO,) - The Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Clay County is dealing with a canine distemper outbreak that's killed seven animals.

WTIU reports, the virus is almost always fatal in big cats.

Canine distemper is most common among dogs, although most are vaccinated against the virus as puppies. The problem is the vaccine is species specific and not particularly effective on big cats, says Exotic Feline Rescue Founder Joe Taft.

Taft says tigers or lions that show symptoms of canine distemper are immediately pulled out of the general population to prevent the virus from spreading. He says there's at least one cat that's still at high risk for the virus.

Raccoons can also carry the virus and Taft thinks that's what started the outbreak after they found a sick raccoon. The animal was sent to the University of Illinois for testing.

Canine distemper doesn't affect humans, so the Exotic Feline Rescue Center remains open for tours.

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