Behavioral Signs of Rabies in a Raccoon

Save

Raccoons infected with rabies may show symptoms of the disease in behavioral changes. Once the lethal virus enters the animal's body through exposure to the saliva of an infected animal, it attacks the nervous system, moving to the brain, salivary glands and other areas, and eventually affects cognitive, motor, and other functions. Several weeks or months after exposure, all but 10 percent of raccoons infected with the rabies virus exhibit behavioral signs associated with the disease.

Raccoons infected with rabies may exhibit symptoms of the disease in behavioral changes.
Raccoons infected with rabies may exhibit symptoms of the disease in behavioral changes.

Signs of Rabies

Signs of rabies last for about a week in raccoons before the animals die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An early sign of rabies in raccoons may be simply acting in a way that is contrary to normal behavior. These abnormal behaviors may include being especially unguarded or "dumb" (far more friendly or tame than is normal), or acting especially aggressive with dogs, cats, humans and even livestock or other large animals. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health Rabies website, another early sign of rabies in raccoons is appearing ill or acting disoriented, which can include coming much closer to a campsite, house, humans, or other animals than is normal and walking unsteadily or circling, moving very slowly, or without apparent purpose.

Signs of rabies last about a week before the animal dies.
Signs of rabies last about a week before the animal dies.

Rabies Progression

According to a 2006 study on raccoons and rabies appearing in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases, as the rabies infection progresses, raccoons may make unusual noises and vocalizations, which can include high-pitched peeping, screeching, chattering, and other sounds they do not normally make. They may also hiss or growl more than normal, acting hostile, aggressive or defensive even if unprovoked. This rabies-induced raging behavior may extend to attacking inanimate objects and other animals. While the animal is in an active stage of the illness, they may bite and spread rabies to other mammals.

Raccoons may make noises they don't usually produce as rabies progresses.
Raccoons may make noises they don't usually produce as rabies progresses.

Final Stages

When raccoons with rabies are close to death, their hind legs may become paralyzed, and the animals may have trouble moving or walk with an exaggerated, jerky gait. Producing an excess of saliva and possibly experiencing paralysis in their throats, raccoons may also appear to drool and froth at the mouth. Because the virus is transmitted through saliva, it may pass from a sick animal to a healthy one through exposure via a bite or simply through mucous membranes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this time, it is especially important to avoid raccoons in this condition, and to prevent pets from coming into contact with them.

The raccoon may become paralyzed in the final stages of the disease.
The raccoon may become paralyzed in the final stages of the disease.

Related Searches

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!