What To Do If Your Dog Gets Bit By A Raccoon?

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What To Do If Your Dog Gets Bit By A Raccoon

Raccoons are known to be animals that can potentially transmit rabies. Luckily, nowadays, the chances of a dog getting rabies are rather low considering that the rabies vaccine is mandated by law in most States.

However, just because your dog is current on rabies doesn’t mean that it’s all clear. Some dog owners reported their dogs were bitten by a raccoon, even if they were current on their rabies shot, the vet will still recommend that they come in and get a rabies booster shot. This is because rabies is a very serious condition you do not want to have any chances with. It is deadly and can be transmitted to humans through bites and even scratches.

If your dog isn’t vaccinated, then that’s another story. Things get much more complicated and we’re talking about strict quarantine.

On top of concerns about vaccination, you have to then worry about infections and possible coonhound paralysis

What is Rabies

Rabies is a contagious and deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It can affect all mammals, including humans.

The virus is usually transmitted through infected saliva that gets into a wound or mucous membrane. The infected person or animal then develops irreversible symptoms that cannot be cured. From the moment symptoms appear, death is inevitable.

Minor differences in the virus make it possible to identify, through specialized laboratory tests, different “variants”. The variants of rabies are named according to the main animal species responsible for the transmission of the virus. It is possible that an animal species may be infected with a different variant of rabies than the one usually associated with its species. The major difference is that the virus will usually not persist in another species, although it does cause disease there.

Wild Animals That Carrey Rabies

The following types of rabies can be found in:

Bat rabies

Bat rabies is the most common variant of rabies and is present in all regions and in all bat species. In North America, it is the most frequently involved in the transmission of rabies in humans and has caused the most deaths in humans in recent decades.

Arctic fox rabies

Arctic fox rabies occurs in northern areas, It affects both Arctic and red foxes.

Raccoon rabies

Raccoon rabies mainly affects raccoons  and striped skunks .

Signs of rabies in domestic animals

Symptoms of rabies in domestic animals progress rapidly to death within 10 days, preceded by one or more of the following manifestations:

  • behavioral changes or behavior contrary to habit
  • sudden and inexplicable depression or fatigue
  • more aggressive attitude towards people, other animals and objects and even towards itself
  • the tendency to bite for no reason
  • tendency towards isolation
  • decreased appetite or difficulty eating or drinking
  • different or unusual vocalizations
  • excessive salivation
  • chewing on the wound site where the animal was exposed to the rabies virus
  • hyper-responsiveness to touch, sound, and light
  • disorientation or staggering gait
  • partial or complete paralysis

If an animal has symptoms compatible with rabies, it is important to isolate it. Contact with humans and other animals should be minimized.

A veterinarian should then assess the situation as soon as possible.

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About Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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