In 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF) contacted the University of Guelph’s Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses (CPHAZ) about concerns pertaining to the use of the antiviral drug acyclovir in raccoons, specifically for “treatment” of distemper. While only used by a distinct minority of raccoon rehabilitators (maybe only 1 group), there were concerns about the potential impacts of this practice.

CPHAZ provided a summary report of the issues and various considerations, which can be found using the following link: Use of acyclovir in raccoons for the treatment of canine distemper virus infection

Short version: there are no plausible reasons to use the drug in raccoons, and a variety of potential concerns.  Check out the full report for more details.

Conflict of interest statement: None.

Funding: No funding or other support was provided for writing this report.