Raccoon with Rabies: Symptoms & Behavior of a Rabid Raccoon

Raccoons are extremely cute creatures which don’t harm humans. If you think this, you are very mistaken. While they may be cute, they are certainly not harmless.

Raccoons carry rabies, a virus that infects the central nervous system and causes serious behavioural problems and eventually leads to death, if not treated early. This could easily be transferred to humans.

Raccoons are the largest animal carriers of rabies. So, you must take the necessary ssteps to stay away from a rabid raccoon.

This article will tell you how to spot a raccoon who might have rabies and tell you all about rabid racoon symptoms. 

Are Raccoons Born with Rabies?

Raccoons are not born with rabies. Although if a baby raccoon’s mother is infected, she will likely infect her child in the first few weeks of the birth itself. 

Do Raccoons Carry Rabies?

Raccoons do carry rabies and can transfer it to humans through their saliva. Although rabies is a transferable disease only once it has reached the brain of the mammal and the animal starts exhibiting system.

Raccoons Carry Rabies

After that, the virus enters the salivary glands and starts multiplying.

Coming in contact with the saliva of the infected animal can infect you too. This could occur if the animal bites you or his saliva comes in contact with an open wound or eyes, nose, and mouth.

So, its best advised staying away from any wild raccoons.

How do you know if a raccoon has rabies?

raccoon with rabies

Raccoon exhibit many symptoms that will tell you if it’s suffering from rabies. All these signs are listed later in the article below.

However, it’s always best to contact experts who can test and take the animals away from your home. It’s best to not go too close to a raccoon you think might have rabies, even if it’s not showing any symptoms.

You must remember not to try to deal with a potentially rabid raccoon by yourself!

How to tell if a Baby Raccoon has Rabies?

Rabies in baby raccoons will exhibit the same symptoms as an adult one. 

What does a rabid raccoon sound like?

A raccoon with rabies infection starts producing strange sounds. They are unusual and different from the sound a raccoon usually makes.

rabid raccoon sound

A rabid raccoon may screech, make high pithed peeping sounds, and may chatter. It could also produce hissing sounds aggressively, even when not provoked. 

Signs of Rabies in Raccoons

A raccoon an exhibit many symptoms that can clue you into its disease. A sick racoon’s behaviour will be very different than a normal one’s. 

Some symptoms that will tell you if a raccoon is sick with rabies are:

  • It will have a staggering gait, appearing as if drunk. It will walk in circles and walk erratically. It could also have difficulty in walking due to paralysis in legs.
  • It will make strange noises with repeated high-pitch vocalizations.
  • It may seem as if oblivious to noise or nearby movement. It will be unafraid of humans. 
  • It will physically appear sick. Wet and matted hair on the face will be a good indication. 
  • Discharge from eyes and mouth. It could also have foaming at the mouth. 
  • The raccoon will look confused, disoriented and slow. A healthy raccoon, in contrast, will look active, intelligent and will move with purpose. A sick raccoon will visibly seem very confused and wander. 
  • Signs of self-mutilation also indicate rabies. 

A raccoon active during the day is not significant enough to diagnose it with rabies. There are many more behavioural symptoms that a racoon will exhibit.

Often these symptoms are related to other diseases that are non-transferable to humans that the raccoon may have. So, it’s important you call the authorities and get the raccoon examined.

How Does a Raccoon Get Rabies?

A raccoon gets rabies only if another animal with rabies bites it. A baby raccoon will get it through its mother in the first few weeks of its birth through close contact and feeding. 

What to do if you see a rabid raccoon?

If you think you see a raccoon who might have rabies, immediately get away from it. Don’t try to help it or come in close contact with it.

Make sure your children and pets don’t engage with the raccoon in any manner.

Most importantly contact concerned authorities right away who could test it and take it away.

Final Words 

Rabies is a deadly disease not only for animals but for humans too. Hence it becomes important to take every precautionary measure you can take to avoid being infected by it. 

Raccoons being so common carries or rabies become very dangerous for humans. 

If you think you see a rabid raccoon in your neighborhood, warn everyone around and contact animal care to get rid of it immediately. 

We hope this article helped you in better understanding rabies and spotting a rabid racoon. Stay away from raccoons and have a rabies-free 2020!

2 thoughts on “Raccoon with Rabies: Symptoms & Behavior of a Rabid Raccoon

  1. Desiree Baker

    Last night my dog came across a raccoon in the swamp near our house I washed my dog and found no wounds from the coon on him only a line that looked like it my be a scratch but it wasn’t bleeding and I did not find any blood on him. I know that they fought each other. And we haven’t seen any animals around our area showing any signs of any infections. Should I really worry about him having rabies.

    1. Dinesh Kumar

      If raccoon is responsible for that scratch, then definitely you should worry. Usually, claws do not carry the virus, but we can’t be sure. I will suggest you to take your dog to the clinic. There are fewer chances of rabies, but it is a deadly disease, so don’t take it lightly and visit a dog clinic as soon as possible.

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