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What Transmittable Diseases Do Raccoons Carry?

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Raccoons on roof - Houston Raccoon Removal Services - Elite Wildlife Services

Sure, the trash pandas are adorable. Everyone loves their tiny little hands!

Yet when coons get too close, disease can follow.

In fact, raccoons carry so many diseases that we’d be hard pressed to name them all. Still, we can give you the most common ones.

Leptospirosis

What it is: a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals.

What it does: causes kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, and respiratory distress. In short, leptospirosis can be fatal. 

How raccoons pass it on to us: through urine contamination. 

Rabies

What it is: a viral disease that infects the central nervous system of both humans and animals.

What it does: causes severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.  It’s most famous for turning animals dangerously aggressive; humans can end up in a state of anxiety, confusion, or partial paralysis. Humans can also suffer from hallucinations. It even can cause a severe fear of water: individuals will panic and refuse to drink. 

The virus essentially hijacks the brain.

How raccoons pass it to us: through bites and scratches.

Canine Distemper

What it is: a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system of dogs.

What it does: causes a watery, pus-like discharge from the eyes. As the disease progresses, dogs develop fevers, nasal discharge, coughing, lethargy, a reduced appetite, vomiting, seizures, partial or complete paralysis. This disease is often fatal. Even when it isn’t it can cause permanent, irreparable nervous system damage.

How raccoons pass it to your animals: through direct contact with body fluids or droppings. 

Raccoon Parvoviral Enteritis

What it is: a highly infectious virus. Racoons can pass it to both dogs and cats.

What it does: causes lethargy, depression, lack of appetite, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. You may spot mucous or blood in your pet’s feces. This disease can be treated if you get your pet to the vet fast enough, but it can be fatal.

How raccoons pass it to your pets: through contact with droppings. 

Infectious Canine Hepatitis

What it is: a contagious viral disease that targets dogs.

What it does: this virus targets the spleen, kidneys, lungs, liver, the lining of the blood vessels and other organs. Symptoms can include fever, vomiting, depression and apathy, thirst, loss of appetite, blindness, a swollen belly, jaundice, red dots on the skin, seizures, and other symptoms. This disease can be fatal.

How raccoons pass it to your pets: through contact with raccoon urine, most commonly when dogs drink from an outdoor puddle or stagnant pond.

Toxoplasmosis

What it is: a disease caused by a parasite known as the toxoplasma gondii parasite.

What it does: causes body aches, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, and fatigue. May cause severe, even fatal, problems in babies, those infected with HIV/AIDS, or in pregnant people. 

How raccoons pass it to us: through contact with urine or feces.

Baylisascaris Procyonis

What it is: a rare but serious roundworm.

What it does: causes neurological and ocular symptoms in humans. Symptoms include nausea, exhaustion, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, confusion, and loss of muscle control. May cause blindness or coma.

How raccoons pass it to us: through contact with urine or feces.

Keep disease out of your home by keeping raccoons out of your home!

While you may imagine that you’d never openly come into contact with urine or feces or get close enough to a raccoon to get bitten by one, the truth is your risk of disease goes up exponentially when a raccoon moves into your home. You may not realize common household surfaces have become contaminated, or that raccoons have been handling your pet’s food and water supply.

Protect your home and your family from disease. Call Elite Wildlife for humane raccoon removal. We’ll put them somewhere they’ll be happier, and we’ll keep you safe at the same time.

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