The Bozeman Police Department is warning residents, especially those with pets, to be on the lookout for raccoons. Recently the department has confirmed an outbreak of distemper within the raccoon population in the Bozeman area.

Here is what the Bozeman Police reported on their Facebook page:

Although distemper is common, an unusually high number of sick raccoons have been reported within City limits this year. Within the past few weeks, animal control has responded to approximately 20 cases. Testing confirmed the raccoons had canine distemper, one of two forms of distemper. None of the tested raccoons had feline distemper, the other form.

Deceased foxes have also been reported and located, leading to the possibility that foxes have been infected as well. This outbreak has not been tested nor confirmed.

Since distemper can be transmitted by transfer of body fluids from animal to animal, animal control captures and removes these raccoons whenever possible. Dogs can become infected by canine distemper if they are not properly vaccinated. Cats can become infected by feline distemper if they are not properly vaccinated. Please ensure your animals are up to date on both distemper vaccinations.

Neither form of the disease is transmittable to human beings, so people are not at risk of infection.

Symptoms of a raccoon with distemper typically include lethargy, seizures and disorientation. The raccoons are further often observed out during the day, an abnormal habit for raccoons.

If you observe raccoons during the day that appear to exhibit any of the above symptoms, please call the Bozeman Police Department dispatch at 582-2000.