Raccoons get rabies when they are bit by an animal afflicted with the disease. According to the Humane Society, animals with rabies are only capable of spreading the virus by biting another creature during the final stage of the disease. Saliva-borne rabies also enters the bloodstream through scratches, cuts and open wounds. Rabies does not enter the body through unbroken skin.
The Humane Society explains that raccoons, coyotes, skunks, bats and foxes contract rabies more than other mammals. According to Purdue University, 41 percent of wildlife rabies cases involve raccoons.
Vaccinations effectively prevent rabies transmission in dogs and cats. Nevertheless, the Humane Society recommends that all pets and people receive a prompt medical evaluation after being bitten or scratched by a wild animal. It also credits rabies education, awareness and vaccination programs with the low human annual mortality rate. In an average year, the United States has two rabies fatalities.
Raccoons with rabies behave differently than healthy ones. The normally nocturnal creatures become active during the day and appear disoriented and aggressive. The most noticeable symptom is foaming at the mouth.
Rabid raccoons are dangerous to people and other animals. The safest way to deal with a possibly rabid animal is to telephone the police or animal control authorities. These professionals have the knowledge and equipment necessary to euthanize the animal.Learn More
The rabies vaccine for humans is a series of injections administered before exposure to rabies or following a bite by an animal suspected of being infected with the disease, according to Vaccines.gov. People who handle animals or rabies laboratory samples often take the preventive vaccine.Full Answer >
It is uncommon for mice and other small rodents to carry rabies, but they can contract the disease in rare situations where they are attacked by another animal with rabies and do not die. The most common animals affected by the disease are raccoons, skunks, foxes, livestock, cats and dogs. There are types of animals that do not carry or contract rabies, which are reptiles, birds, insects and amphibians.Full Answer >
The fastest way to rid a yard or an attic of raccoons is to remove or block paths to food sources. The Old Farmer's Almanac recommends starting by keeping birdseed sealed away at night when raccoons, which are nocturnal, are apt to feed.Full Answer >
To eliminate raccoons, remove food and water sources that attract the animals, and install barriers in the home and on the property as needed. Trapping is typically recommended to remove live animals already living in or around the home. The process of removing raccoons may require several weeks.Full Answer >