Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: raccoon

Deworming wild and feral animals

Posted in Parasites
I had a question the other day about roundworms in feral cats. Specifically, how do you deworm a group of cats that you don’t handle and may not be able to catch? There are a few possible approaches, from trapping and treating (oral or topical) to trying to get a dewormer into them via food.… Continue Reading

Stinky dogs and rabies questions

Posted in Dogs
I’ll admit it – I don’t understand dogs. How is it that they have this incredibly well-developed sense of smell, but my dog feels it necessary to roll in the most disgusting smelling things he can find? I guess it’s not that he feels like he needs strong body odour, just that he has a… Continue Reading

Raccoon rabies…what is exposure?

Posted in Rabies
A recent report about a rabid raccoon in New Brunswick highlights a few different issues regarding rabies exposure, and the marked differences in application and interpretation of various guidelines. The incident occurred in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, where a family came home "to find their 2 dogs excitedly circling around something in the yard. The… Continue Reading

Raccoons in the bed

Posted in Other animals
There’s been some controversy in the past regarding allowing pets to sleep in or on the bed. I don’t get too worked up about it, since I think it’s very low-risk in terms of disease transmission for most pets and households, but a variety if reasons for prohibiting this practice have been given. I haven’t… Continue Reading

Raccoon roundworm reminder

Posted in Parasites
An article by Dr. Ann Britton of British Columbia’s Animal Health Centre (AHC) on the blog site healthywildlife.ca  is another reminder of the perils of raccoon poop. Over a 2 year period, 17 raccoons were submitted to the AHC for necropsy, and 12 (71%) of them were infected with Baylisascaris procyonis, the raccoon roundworm. The… Continue Reading

Biohazardous baby raccoons

Posted in Other animals
This time of year, it’s very common around here to see young raccoons wandering about. It’s also still pretty common to hear about people keeping a litter of baby raccoons in their house. I can understand the appeal – they’re cute and entertaining. However, in addition to being illegal in many regions, handling young raccoons… Continue Reading

Raccoon distemper warnings

Posted in Dogs
There have been various news reports from different parts of North America describing distemper outbreak in raccoons. Distemper is a viral infection caused by canine distemper virus, which is related to the human measles virus (but the canine version can’t infect people). A variety of animal species in addition to dogs can get distemper, most… Continue Reading

Rabies exposure and confusion

Posted in Dogs
Max, a 12-year-old Chihuahua from Greenfield, New Jersey, was euthanized recently after he was exposed to rabies. While far from unusual, the case highlights the ongoing risk of rabies exposure as well as issues with understanding of rabies guidelines and communication. Max was attacked by a rabid raccoon – an ever-present risk for animals that… Continue Reading

Canine distemper in Niagara region raccoons

Posted in Dogs
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Welland SPCA are warning people about an apparently large number of cases of distemper in raccoons in the area. Distemper is a pretty nasty disease which can be spread between dogs and wildlife. It’s caused by canine distemper virus, but the "canine" part of the name can be… Continue Reading

Raccoon invaders and roundworms

Posted in Other animals
Here’s a recent question I received:  "My problem is that the raccoon broke a window, came into my house, ate the cat food and then defecated on the kitchen floor. Since they went a day without food, the cats may have eaten the few bits of food that were left behind. How can I tell… Continue Reading

Infection from raccoon to parrot

Posted in Other animals
An article in the May/June edition of Canadian Vet Newsmagazine (a magazine, not to be confused with Canadian Veterinary Journal, a scientific journal), described an interesting case of an indoor pet bird acquiring an infection from a wild raccoon, despite no direct contact. The bird was an African Grey Parrot that was admitted to the… Continue Reading

Pet raccoon attackes baby, owners in denial

Posted in Other animals
Raccoons are fascinating critters but they don’t make good pets. Their curiosity makes them quite disruptive and damaging, and they have seriously injured people (particularly infants). They are also rabies vectors, and in many regions raccoon ownership (along with other wildlife species) is illegal (or only legal with a license). Despite all this, some people… Continue Reading

2010 Animal Rabies Summary

Posted in Cats
In Canada, rabies testing and surveillance is performed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). National data for 2010 are now available and indicate there were a small number of cases in domestic animals, with more in wildlife, for a total of 123 cases. Dogs: There were three cases, all in Saskatchewan. Cats: Four cases,… Continue Reading

Reducing risks with raccoon latrines

Posted in Other animals
An interesting paper in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases (Page et al. 2011) describes an impressively large effort to study the effect of anthelmintic (dewormer) baiting on parasite contamination at raccoon latrines sites in Indiana. Raccoon latrines can be highly contaminated with various parasites, because raccoons congregate at these sites and use them as "communal… Continue Reading

Raccoons attack baby

Posted in Other animals
A nine-month old Georgia (US) baby is in critical condition after being attacked by two raccoons while sleeping in her crib. The attack occurred in the middle of the night, and the baby ended up with severe bites over her head and other parts of her body. It’s not clear at this point whether these were… Continue Reading

Rabies galore

Posted in Cats
ProMed’s monthly rabies update contains some recurring themes: A couple of incidents of dog versus rabid raccoon. The dog usually comes out on top, but the raccoon can exact revenge at the end of the day through the need for quarantine or euthanasia. If the dog is not vaccinated, a long quarantine or euthanasia is… Continue Reading

2009 US rabies recap

Posted in Dogs
2009 animal rabies statistics have recently been published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Blanton et al 2010). Here are some highlights: 6690 rabid animals were identified, along with four human cases. (One of those human cases was associated with travel to India, as described as described in a recent post). Rabid… Continue Reading

Mass rabies exposure from raccoon

Posted in Other animals
Yet again, a large number of people are undergoing rabies post-exposure treatment because they were exposed to a rabid raccoon that was "adopted" from the wild. In this case, a North Carolina family found a baby raccoon at the side of the road and decided to bring it home. Over the next couple of weeks,… Continue Reading

Rabies update

Posted in Dogs
ProMed has a new list of recent rabies incidents. The whole report can be seen by clicking here, but these are some examples of common or important issues they touch on: - Roaming pets + wildlife = bad news: One person’s dogs killed a raccoon while out for their "romp around the yard." The raccoon… Continue Reading

Baylisascaris and dogs

Posted in Dogs
Recently, I was speaking with a physician who mentioned that a colleague has recommended that people with raccoons in their yard get rid of their dogs because of the risk of Baylisascaris procyonis. This parasite, also known as the raccoon roundworm, can cause severe neurological disease in people that ingest infective parasite eggs from the environment.… Continue Reading

Distemper in raccoons and dogs

Posted in Other animals
The Toronto Star had a front page article today about an ongoing distemper outbreak in raccoons, and the potential effects on dogs. Toronto’s not alone, as there are distemper outbreaks underway in many different municipal regions. Distemper is an infection caused by a virus that is related to human measles virus. It mainly affects dogs,… Continue Reading

More rabid raccoons in Central Park

Posted in Other animals
Eight more rabid raccoons have been found in New York’s Central Park over the past two weeks. These, plus the 12 rabid raccoons reported in the park last year, represent a major increase in disease frequency since only 1 rabid raccoon was identified in Central Park from 2003-2008. That’s a concerning development given the number… Continue Reading

Baylisascaris in Winnipeg

Posted in Parasites
There was another paper published in the August issue of the Canadian Veterinary Journal about Baylisascaris procyonis (roundworms) in raccoons, this time in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Sexsmith et al 2009). The study was actually undertaken after infection with B. procyonis larvae was identifed as the cause of death of several animals in the collection at the… Continue Reading