'Zombie' raccoons on hind legs bare teeth and drool

Ohio officials say distemper virus causes behavior

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Ohio officials are getting calls about "zombie" raccoons -- animals walking on their hind legs, baring their teeth and drooling, WLS reported.

Cook County officials said they are seeing more raccoons with the a virus, which causes strange behaviors, WLS reported. It's distemper, which can also kill pets. (Cats and dogs can be vaccinated against it.)

The virus makes raccoons lose their fear of humans, WLS reported. Other symptoms include coughing, tremors and seizures.

"So they can be acting like they're limping; that they can't use their back legs," Donna Alexander of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control, WLS reported. "They can be standing on their back legs and then falling over. Any kind of neurological equilibrium problems are signs of distemper as well."

Though vaccinating pets is not required since the virus can't spread to humans, Alexander said it's the best way to protect furry friends, WLS reported.

"The vaccinations are the most important thing," she said.



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