What Does A Rabid Raccoon Sound Like

Rabid Raccoons : Distemperment or Rabies?

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Whether you live in the country or in the middle of suburbia there are going to be at least one type of pesky critter that comes savaging around. Raccoons are well-known pests that will go through trash cans, pet food, compost and gardens in search of food. While these sneaky bandits are one of the more loved pests they can also pose a threat. Raccoons are a rabies vector species. This means that can carry and transmit the disease to humans and other animals.

Having been documented for thousands of years rabies is neither a new disease or one of the past. If raccoons are a common place pest around your home it’s a good idea to brush up on the need to know about rabies.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the nervous system. Animals cannot be carriers of the disease. If they have rabies they will show signs of it and during the later stages it can be transmitted to other animals and humans.

There are five main strains of rabies, skunk, fox, canine, raccoon and bat. They are named after the animal that is most susceptible to it, but any mammal can get rabies. To contract rabies saliva from an infected animal must come in contact with broken skin, such as bites, scratches and abrasions.

Signs of a Rabid Raccoon and What to Do

Rabid raccoons will show signs that they are sick. Learns these signs and how to distinguish fact from myth.

  • A rabid raccoon will have difficulty walking. Their hind legs may be fully or partially paralyzed. They may also be walking around in confused circles.
  • They will act confused or disoriented. Healthy raccoons are very mindful creatures. They are constantly alter and looking for something; food, water or a pretty bobble to play with.
  • Rabies infected raccoons may make crazy noises. When healthy, they will often chatter a bit with other raccoons, but when sick they could make squealing and screeching sounds that they don’t otherwise make.
  • A classic sign, and one that signals the later stage of rabies, is foaming at the mouth. If you are close enough to see this sign get away from the animal. Keep your pets and children away.

There are also a number of healthy raccoon behaviors that people mistaken as oddities. Even if they raccoon doesn’t seem infected you should still leave the animal alone.

  • Many healthy raccoons have little or no fear of humans. This isn’t a sign of rabies. It just means that the animal has been around people enough not to fear them.
  • Mother raccoons will go out during the day in search of extra food for their babies.
  • Aggression is not a sign of rabies. It might just be a bad tempered raccoon.

What to Do With Rabid Raccoons

If you think that a rabid raccoon is wondering around your yard or neighborhood call animal control or the local equivalent. Do not attempt to catch the raccoon on your own. Some states have laws against handling any rabies vector species, whether they are showing signs of rabies or not. Be aware of the laws in your area and follow them.

If you find baby raccoons on your property contact animal control or an animal rehabber. The mother may come back for the babies, but there is a vaccination for rabies that the babies can be given. This can help reduce the chances of rabies becoming a problem in your area.

Prevention of Rabid Raccoons

There is no for sure way to stop a rabid raccoon from showing up at your home, but there are steps you can take to control the raccoon population.

  • Keep the yard clean and trash free. Spend a little extra time picking up any debris that might be laying around in the yard. This not only makes the yard look better, but removes items that raccoons can explore or use. Keep trash cans clean and sealed. If a raccoon can’t get into the trash they can’t eat what’s inside.
  • Kill off their food source. Raccoons love bugs and will eat them up. If there are grubs or ground dwelling bugs in your yard you’ll see signs of raccoons digging for them. Apply a pest killer that will kill off these pests and save your lawn while repealing raccoons.
  • Stop them from using your yard as a bathroom. Raccoons will often use the same areas over and over. Put a stop to this by applying fox or coyote urine. The smell of a predator will deter them.
  • Keep pet food inside and feed outside pets earlier in the day so that most of their food will be gone by nightfall.
  • Install motion sensitive lights. If a raccoon starts across your yard and a light pops on it will scare them off the first few times. The lights can also be an early detection of raccoons stopping by. If the lights pop on every night try searching for signs of raccoons and start taking prevention measures.
See also:  How To Get Raccoons Out Of Your Walls

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How To Tell If A Raccoon Is Rabid

In some states, the raccoon is classified as a rabies vector species (RVS), which means it can carry and transmit diseases. Any mammal can do that, but raccoons are at a higher risk. If you’re currently experiencing troubles with raccoons on your Milwaukee property, you are in need of professional and expert raccoon removal. The single most important thing to remember is that dealing with a potentially rabid raccoon is NOT something that you should attempt by yourself. Raccoons can transmit rabies to all other mammals, including humans. Spotting a suspected rabid raccoon means you should steer clear of it and immediately contact a wildlife professional.

Always steer clear of a raccoon during the daytime as they are typically nocturnal.

How Can I Tell if a Raccoon is Rabid or Not?

Here are five typical signs of a rabid raccoon:

  • Appears to look sick- raccoons can contract a variety of diseases, but you should not risk coming into contact with a sick raccoon.
  • Foaming at the mouth – One of the most well-known symptoms of rabies. If you spot this, be sure to keep your distance.
  • Making strange noises – most raccoons make noises, but a sick raccoon will make uncommon noises.
  • Looks confused, disoriented, and slow – a healthy raccoon will look busy as they are very active and intelligent.
  • Difficulty walking – Paralysis in the legs is often a symptom of rabies.

What to Do If You Spot an Aggressive Racoon

An aggressive raccoon that doesn’t seem to be afraid of people is not a particularly useful sign that lets you know it has rabies. The raccoon may have been fed by humans, in which case they might harass people to get more food. Rabies or not, it means that seeking out professional raccoon removal services should be your immediate course of action. Steer clear of raccoons and all wildlife and always seek out professional help at the first sign of an infestation.

Not all raccoons are rabid, some may have distemper.

Are Raccoons Dangerous to Humans?

Do you have the temptation to pet a raccoon? No matter how cute it is, it’s a bad idea. Raccoons that have rabies might be aggressive to people or other animals. But, what is rabies in the first place? It’s a viral disease that affects mammals. The virus spreads from the bite location to the brain in three to eight weeks. The patient doesn’t show any symptoms during this period. Once the virus reaches the brain, it produces inflammation. As a result, the patient soon displays abnormal behavior, aggression, anxiety, and seizures. The disease is nearly always fatal once these symptoms appear.

Contact Skedaddle for All Your Animal Control Needs

Spotting a raccoon on your property or around your home might not warrant concern at first, but it should be cause for alarm. As cute and cuddly as they may seem, raccoons are wild animals and should be treated as such. Refrain from DIY removal methods and instead contact a professional Milwaukee raccoon removal company. If you’re struggling to make a reliable choice, simply go with Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. Skedaddle has nearly three decades of experience in dealing with raccoons and many other wildlife species, including rabid ones. Get in touch with Skedaddle today and ensure your family and property are safe from rabid raccoons.

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www.skedaddlewildlife.com

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Rabies Vector Species — How to Tell

In some states, the raccoon is classified as a rabies vector species (RVS), which means it’s an animal that can carry and transmit rabies. Technically, any mammal can do so, but raccoons are a higher risk. Thus, the animal is subject to certain laws by state. How to tell if a raccoon is sick — learn the signs of a rabid raccoon — basically, it looks sick.

Here are the top 5 signs of a rabid raccoon:
1) Difficulty walking — fully or partially paralyzed hind legs, or walking in circles.
2) Looks confused, disoriented, slow. A healthy raccoon will be doing something purposeful, and it’ll look alert.
3) Makes crazy noises — most healthy raccoons chatter to each other, or make a real racket when fighting or mating, but usually when they’re foraging about, they aren’t making crazy noises.
4) Foaming at the mouth — if you’re close enough to see this, get away!
5) Just plain looks sick — shouldn’t be too hard to tell. Raccoons can contract a variety of diseases, including distemper, but in no cases should you risk contact with a raccoon.

Here are some behaviors exhibited by BOTH healthy and rabid raccoons:
1) Out during the daytime — totally normal. However, still exercise caution.
2) No fear of humans — raccoons have become urban animals like squirrels. Many healthy raccoons have zero fear of people.

What if a raccoon is just plain aggressive? That’s probably not a useful sign to tell if a raccoon has rabies. While most raccoons don’t bother people directly, sometimes they do, but that doesn’t mean it is rabid. Most of the time they do ignore people, or just kind of look at you and move on — unless they’ve been fed by people! In that case, they might learn to harass people in hopes of getting more food. Sick or not, that’s a bad thing that might require raccoon removal. Click here for my full guide on raccoon trapping tips.

Here is a response about raccoon relocation and concerns regarding a sick raccoon that I received from one wildlife expert who wrote to me:

«I just read your web site about raccoons. I don’t know where you are located, but I am in Upstate New York. Our Dept of Environ. Conservation licenses us and regulates all wildlife in our care. Here in New York, rehabbers who take in rabies vector species, such as skunks, raccoons, and bats, must have additional training, specialized caging, and a series of three pre-exposure rabies vaccinations before handling any RVS. The vaccinations run around $600.00. This is at the expense of the rehabber of course. Then your facility must be inspected by the USDA. A separate log must be kept for each RVS. All RVS must be released back into the county they came from and the rehabber must be registered with the Health Dept. of each county he/she receives RVS from. The public is not allowed to transport any RVS, therefore the rehabber must drive to the initial site of where the RVS was found to pick them up and later release them. A rehabber in my area was caught two years ago accepting baby coons from someone who drove them to her. Her license was revoked for two years and she had to go through a hearing and respond to the charges brought against her. Needless to say, in a State of more than 17 million people there are fewer than 30 RVS licensed rehabbers in the entire state that can take RVS. Last year I got calls about baby coons from Queens in NY City. That is more than 6 hours one way away from where I live and I surely am not registered in that county. I have all I can do to respond to the calls from my own county. I LOVED your web site. It is well done and very informative. Please let people know however, that there might not be any rehabbers in their area that can accept RVS. In the far western part of NY there are no RVS rehabbers in 8 joining counties. I have bookmarked your site and will surely pass it on to everyone I know with raccoons in their attics. Where are you? I know each state has their own laws. I do believe that there are some areas that do not allow any rehabber to take RVS at all for any reason. Keep up the good work. You are doing a great job at educating the public.»

See also:  When Is Breeding Season For Raccoons

The above was a good email about raccoons and rabies. You can check out my how to catch raccoons page for email examples of raccoon situations from my website readers. More rabies discussion below:

«This time of year we are all preparing for baby season. We are all budgeting our purchases towards the supplies we know we will need. This Rabies Detection Kit sounds wonderful, yes. But please ask yourself; why is there no endorsement, no clinical testing done, no approval as yet from any organization or government agency? Perhaps our monies may be better spent ’til we hear more of this from professional voices. Annie»

«Thank you for the responses I have received regarding this test kit and process. From everything I am hearing it sounds dangerous. I mean that a lot of our credibility with the public and the governmental agencies that regulate us depends on the perception that we are using the most reliable and safest methods to ensure that the animals we are caring for are not a threat to the public well being. If it is known that one of us is using an unproven and unreliable process or procedure, then that could damage the credibility of that person and any other rehabbers that the public or the agencies associate with us. If I get in an animal that is suspect, I euthanize it and take the head to my State lab. In 15 years I have had only one animal come back positive. So that means many animals have been needlessly euthanized. Yes it does. I cannot deny that. But when a reporter or a school administrator asks me how can I be sure that the animals I am dealing with are safe, I can state that I am incompliance with all requirements of state and federal authorities regarding that issue. I immunize RVS’ that I release for rabies and distemper. Not just for the animals well being but for the publics perception that I am doing what I can to minimize the threat to theirs and their families safety. Some have argued that by immunizing the wild animals I am rehabbing, that I am upsetting natural processes. That rabies and distemper are naturally occurring diseases which control populations. My rationale for the rabies is clear. It is to protect the animals from the publics fear that they might have rabies. If the public wants to think I am doing it to protect them, it doesn’t hurt. For the distemper I argue that frequency of occurrence in our wild populations is unnaturally affected by the wild animals interactions with the strays and feral, domestic animals running in our area. That means that I think the distemper issue is a man-made threat and I feel justified in doing what I can to fight it. But doing something that is less than 100% recognized and proven can have disastrous results. Especially in those States which regulate or prohibit the rehab of RVS.»

How to tell if a raccoon has rabies: while it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution, it’s actually not that hard, since a rabid raccoon is such a blatantly and obviously sick animal in a state of high distress. Click to learn more about other raccoon diseases, such as raccoon roundworm.

Wildlife Education — Information, Advice, About How Sick Rabid Raccoons

www.raccoonatticguide.com

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