Do All Raccoons Have Rabies?

There are states in the US where the raccoons are considered as RVS (Rabies Vector Species) which means that they are a potential carrier and transmitter of rabies. Technically, all mammals can carry rabies. Rabies is an old issue; a lot of people all over the world are dying every day due to this. Fortunately, rabies is quite rare in North America. Some people may think that feeding and petting a raccoon will expose you to this viral infection. However, a raccoon that can transmit rabies to human is very rare. In fact, there is only a single known case of rabies transmission in the United States that concerns a raccoon.

Signs If the Raccoon Has a Rabies

Usually, rabies transmission can be due to dogs or bats. It is a deadly disease which is why you need to treat this seriously. Analyzing if the raccoon contains rabies can be difficult. Normally, experts will perform a brain diagnosis in order to determine if they carry rabies or not. There are also simple ways on how you can do it; some raccoons that can possibly carry rabies will show some signs.

Wobbly Walkers

In case the raccoon looks staggering when they walk, it can be a sign of rabies. However, it can also mean that they are unhealthy. Baby raccoons will also sometime walk wobbly especially if they are under 8 weeks old.

Salivating and Frothing

A raccoon that is frothing or salivating at the mouth is also a possible sign of rabies. Again, it can also mean other things, they can be unwell (especially if they have weeping eyes) or they are possibly poisoned.

Unaware of Its Surrounding

If the raccoons appear to be unaware of their movements and the noises on their surroundings, they are a possible carrier and transmitter of rabies. It can also mean that they have impairment due to the past accidents.

Unexplained Lethargy and Aggression

An aggressive and lethargic raccoon does not always mean that they carry rabies. Sometimes the mother raccoon can be aggressive especially when you are close to their nest. Remember that the raccoons can be aggressive when in the presence of a human since they considered us as predators.

Based on the study of the Human Society, rabies can be transmitted when one creature that carries rabies will bite another creature. After they have been exposed to a possible carrier, they will show no sign of rabies infection for at least 2 months (sometimes it can be longer). After sometime, 90% of the creature afflicted with the disease will exhibit a peculiar and unusual animal behavior.

After the virus enters the body of an animal, it will attack the central nervous system of the creature. It will move from the salivary gland to the brain which can affect the motor skills and cognitive function. Normally, a raccoon that is infected with rabies will die on the final stage of the disease. Their hind legs will lose its function and will become completely paralyzed. During this occasion, it is best to just avoid this animal.

Read the How to get rid of raccoons page for helpful information and to learn more about Do All Raccoons Have Rabies?

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