An important canine virus that is becoming more prevalent in our wildlife is canine distemper virus. Many raccoons in Minnesota and even the Twin Cities area are infected with the virus. These raccoons may show similar signs to rabies, such as incoordination and muscle spasms. Unfortunately this disease also is highly fatal in both dogs and raccoons. Thankfully the distemper vaccine is highly effective at protecting our canine friends from the disease. The other good news (if there can be good news with a deadly virus) is that canine distemper virus does not affect people or cats. Basically the same general principles for protection of you and your family apply to canine distemper virus as to rabies virus.