What Are Some of the Symptoms of a Sick Raccoon?

Raccoons are one of the most curious animals leading them to exploring all kinds of areas. Unfortunately, that makes them one of the biggest disease spreaders around the world. Regardless of whether you have a pet raccoon or they infiltrated your property and set up their nests there, you should be aware of the symptoms a sick raccoon expresses. Identifying the problem allows you to deal with it with the safest measures for both parties.


It’s a diseases caused by a virus and raccoons are quite susceptible to it. It is transmitted through airborne globules which might come off a sneeze or a hiss for example. That makes the disease easily transmittable. The “fortunate” news is that there is a variety of symptoms and it is easily identifiable. If there are distinguishable circles around a raccoon’s eyes, not its natural ones, but one cause by weepy eyes and you see marks of a runny nose, then this is most likely a typical case of distemper. As the disease develops the raccoon becomes lethargic and will often lose apatite. Depending on the specific type of the disease its whole cycle could develop in a period between one and six weeks.

In cases where the disease reaches the brain of the animal but manages to survive, it will leave a permanent mark reducing its survival chances greatly regardless of the environment.


A zoonotic virus which makes its way to the brain, unfortunately, the symptoms of Rabies are, quite similar e and it is quite hard to distinguish between the two for the untrained eye. Further symptoms could be apathy, labored breathing, paralysis, in coordination and expression of aggressive behavior towards anyone without provocation. The difference here is that the virus isn’t spread airborne via droplets but takes physical contact like the insertion of the saliva through a biting or contamination of open wounds. In the early stages, the virus is quite easily dealt with through water, soap and even sunlight, which makes it a rare case.


While the two most common types of diseases which raccoons develop are quite alike when it comes to symptoms, the rabies virus is quite weaker and its survival is almost impossible in the early stages. This means that all of the expressed symptoms point to distemper in the majority of occurrences. Distemper is transmitted airborne, meaning the virus also survives outside the body. Rabies is transmitted through saliva and does not survive outside the body.

Both of the viruses would cause the creature to become violent for no adequate reasons.

Whether it’s your pet or pest, you should take proper precautions as soon as possible and either go to the vet or call a pest controlling company to deal with the situation with the highest efficiency and safety. It could save the creatures life and prevent potential health issues for one’s self.

Read the How to get rid of raccoons page for helpful information and to learn more about What Are Some of the Symptoms of a Sick Raccoon?

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