Rabies is a virus that, when it infects a human or animal, attacks the nervous system and brain before ultimately resulting in death. While animals like skunks, foxes, and bats can become infected, raccoons have a reputation for spreading rabies to humans.
All wild animals should not be approached, but there are some signs that indicate a raccoon may be carrying rabies and extra caution is needed.
How Do I Know If A Raccoon Has Rabies?
Many people associate rabid animals with aggression. Certainly a raccoon acting aggressively unprovoked is a cause for concern, but there are several other signs that can indicate rabies as well such as:
- High Pitched Crying or Whining
- Erratic or Uneven Movements
- Discharge from the Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
- Lack of Awareness for Surroundings
- Wet or Matted Fur
- Wandering Path
- Visibility During the Day (more common with “Dumb Rabies”)
Though these signs are good indicators of rabies, this is not conclusive. Additionally, raccoons can carry other diseases like canine distemper, leptospirosis, and roundworm that can show different symptoms. You should never approach a wild animal without the guidance of a professional.
What To Do If You’ve Come In Contact with a Rabid Raccoon?
Modern medicine has developed an effective vaccine for rabies that is administered to those who have been bitten by an infected animal. Because of this, human deaths in the US from rabies are usually only one or two annually, and only one person has reportedly died from rabies transmitted by a raccoon.
It is still important to seek medical attention if you have been bitten by a raccoon, whether or not they were showing signs of rabies. Quick treatment can prevent the spread of any disease from the bite.
Who Do I Call About an Infected Raccoon?
Wild animals should always be handled by a professional. Even healthy raccoons can be dangerous when they feel threatened. Raccoons require special equipment to safely remove them. A professional animal control company like NY and NJ Animal Control Trappers has the skills and experience to handle all wildlife.
Whether there is a raccoon on your property, in your home, or you would simply like to proof your home against wild animals, we can help you. We have 24 hour services and are here to help you in an emergency. Call us at (646) 741-4333 or (732) 387-4135.
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