The Dangers Of Raccoons For Pets
Opinions of raccoons vary wildly depending on who you ask. Some people find them cute, while others think that they're gross for the way that they scavenge. In any case, if you have pets - especially small ones, like small dog breeds or cats - you should be wary of these masked visitors. Read on to discover how raccoons could potentially hurt your pet and what you should do if the worst happens.
Raccoons are unfortunately notorious for carrying a wide variety of diseases. While not every raccoon is sick, many are. Unfortunately, one of the diseases that raccoons often carry is rabies.
To make matters even worse, not all raccoons show typical signs of having rabies. Most people think of animals foaming at the mouth when they're carrying rabies. While this is a possibility, raccoons can show a wide variety of signs that they're ill with this disease, including wobbliness and lethargy. If you see your raccoon showing these signs, stay away from it and call animal control. If they aren't showing any of these signs, keep your pets away from them regardless.
Raccoons are hunters and scavengers. This means that while they may be happy to eat dog or cat kibble that's been left out, they won't think twice about hunting prey if they can't find enough food to eat.
Unfortunately, cats and dogs have fallen victim to raccoon attacks. In general, if your pet is the same size as a raccoon or smaller, they could easily be viewed as prey by a hungry raccoon.
Raccoons are extremely dangerous. Their sharp claws and teeth can hurt a pet severely. In addition, since raccoons use their hands to pick things up and walk on the dirt, their claws tend to carry a great deal of dirt and bacteria that can easily infect a wound.
What To Do
If you think your pet has been hurt by raccoons, get them to a veterinarian's office immediately. Explain to your vet what happened. Your vet will perform a thorough visual and physical examination to look for injuries on your pet. They may also run diagnostic scans like an ultrasound to look for additional internal injuries.
If injuries are found, your vet will immediately treat them by irrigating the wounds and supplying your pet with antibiotics.
In addition, your vet may provide your pet with a rabies vaccine. With any luck, your pet got this vaccine a long time ago courtesy of you bringing them in for their vaccinations. However, a booster shot can be helpful in fending off any symptoms of the illness.
At the end of the day, raccoons are wild animals that can behave erratically. If you know that there are raccoons around, keep your pets in during the evening when they're prone to roaming. Keep your pet's food away from raccoons, as rabies can be spread via saliva. With these tips under your belt, your pet should be safe.