What Diseases Do Raccoons Carry?

What Diseases Do Raccoons Carry? featured image

Raccoons are fascinating creatures that live in many parts of the world, including North America. They are known for their distinctive black mask-like markings around their eyes and bushy tails with rings on them. But did you know that raccoons can carry diseases?

Diseases are like germs that can make living things, including humans, sick. Raccoons can carry different diseases, and it’s important to know about them to stay safe. One disease raccoons can carry is called rabies. Rabies is a very serious disease that affects the brain and can make animals and even people act strange and aggressive. Another disease is called roundworms, which are tiny parasites that live in raccoon poop and can make humans very sick if accidentally swallowed.

So, it’s crucial to remember that while raccoons may look cute and curious, it’s best to keep a safe distance and not touch or feed them. It’s also important to wash our hands properly after playing outside, especially if we see raccoon poop. By staying informed and taking precautions, we can stay healthy and enjoy the wonders of wildlife from a safe distance!

Common Diseases Carried by Raccoons

Hey there, friend! Today, we’re going to talk about something important – diseases carried by those cute but mischievous raccoons. It’s crucial to understand these diseases for the sake of our safety and the well-being of our furry friends. So, let’s dive right in!

Rabies: A Serious Concern

Rabies is no joke, and unfortunately, raccoons are known carriers of this deadly virus. They can contract rabies through bites or scratches from other infected animals and then pass it on to other raccoons, pets, or even humans. Yikes!

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If a raccoon has rabies, you may notice unusual behavior like aggression, disorientation, or foaming at the mouth. The scary part is that if a rabid raccoon bites you or your pet, it can transmit the virus, which can be fatal if left untreated.

To protect yourself and your pets, make sure to keep a safe distance from raccoons and other wildlife. Ensure your furry companions are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Roundworm Infection: A Hidden Threat

Now, let’s talk about roundworms – those sneaky microscopic parasites that can wreak havoc on raccoons and humans alike. These little guys can be found in raccoon feces and can infect both pets and people if proper hygiene measures aren’t taken.

If a raccoon is infected with roundworms, it might show no symptoms at all. But for humans and pets, the story is a bit different. Symptoms can vary but may include abdominal pain, nausea, and even vision problems in more severe cases.

To protect yourself and your pets, always wash your hands thoroughly after gardening or playing in areas where raccoons may have left their droppings. Also, regular deworming for your pets is a must. Let’s keep those worms at bay!

Related Article: “What Virus Do Raccoons Carry”

Leptospirosis: A Bacterial Infection

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that raccoons can carry and transmit through their urine. It’s not something we want to mess around with, as it can lead to serious health issues for both humans and pets.

If a raccoon has leptospirosis, it might experience symptoms like fever, muscle pain, and jaundice. For humans and pets, the risks can include kidney damage, liver failure, and more.

To stay safe, avoid contact with raccoon urine and make sure your pets are properly vaccinated against leptospirosis. Let’s keep those bacteria at bay!

Related Article:Why Do Raccoons Carry Rabies

Canine Distemper: Threat to Pets

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and other wildlife, including raccoons. It is caused by the canine distemper virus (CDV) and can lead to severe illness and even death in infected animals.

How do Raccoons Carry and Spread Canine Distemper?

Raccoons can carry and spread the canine distemper virus through direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids. They can shed the virus in their urine, saliva, and nasal secretions, making it easy for the virus to be transmitted to other raccoons, as well as domestic dogs and other susceptible animals.

Risks for Pet Dogs and Other Wildlife

Canine distemper is a serious threat to pet dogs as it can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, and neurological signs such as seizures and paralysis. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

Not only are pet dogs at risk, but other wildlife can also be affected by canine distemper. This includes foxes, coyotes, and even large cats like lions and tigers. The virus can have devastating effects on these populations, leading to declines in their numbers.

Preventive Measures

The best way to protect your pet dog from canine distemper is through vaccination. Regular vaccinations can help prevent infection and keep your furry friend safe. It’s important to follow your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination schedule and keep up-to-date with booster shots.

Additionally, it’s crucial to avoid contact with infected raccoons or their bodily fluids. Keep your pet dog on a leash when outdoors, especially in areas where raccoons are known to be present. If you suspect a raccoon in your area may be infected with distemper, contact your local animal control or wildlife authorities for assistance.

Remember, prevention is key in protecting your pet dog and preventing the spread of canine distemper. Stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to keep your furry friend safe and healthy.

Related Article: “What Do Raccoons Do To Humans”

Salmonella: A Foodborne Pathogen

Did you know that raccoons can carry and transmit Salmonella bacteria? It’s not just about undercooked chicken anymore! These little critters can contaminate our environment and pose a risk to our health.

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If a raccoon has Salmonella, it may not show any symptoms, but for humans, it can lead to gastrointestinal distress, including diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

To stay safe, make sure to handle and cook food properly, especially if you suspect raccoons have been in the vicinity. Let’s keep those bacteria out of our kitchens!

Other Diseases and Parasites

Ticks, Fleas, and Mites: Tiny Troublemakers

Ticks, fleas, and mites are not just a nuisance for your pets, but they can also pose health risks to both animals and humans. Raccoons can carry these pesky parasites and spread them to other animals and even to your home.

Ticks, in particular, are known for transmitting diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Fleas can cause allergic reactions and transmit tapeworms, while mites can cause skin irritation and itching.

To protect yourself and your pets from these tiny troublemakers, make sure to regularly check for ticks and fleas after spending time outdoors. Use tick preventatives and flea control products recommended by your veterinarian. Keep your home clean and vacuum regularly to prevent infestations.

Giardia: An Unwanted Guest

Giardia is a microscopic parasite that can cause gastrointestinal issues in both raccoons and humans. Raccoons can become infected by drinking contaminated water or by coming into contact with infected feces.

The symptoms of Giardia infection in raccoons include diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. In humans, it can cause similar symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramps.

To prevent the spread of Giardia, avoid drinking or swimming in untreated water sources and always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raccoons or their feces. If you suspect a raccoon has been in your water source, it’s best to have it tested for contamination.

Related Article: “How Do Raccoons Get Distemper”

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Baylisascaris: The Scary Roundworm

Baylisascaris is a roundworm that can infect raccoons and cause serious health issues in humans and other animals. Raccoons become infected by ingesting eggs in contaminated soil or food sources.

If a human accidentally ingests the eggs, the larvae can migrate to various organs in the body and cause severe neurological damage. This is why it’s important to avoid contact with raccoon feces and to practice good hygiene, especially when gardening or playing in areas where raccoons are known to frequent.

Regular deworming of your pets is also crucial to prevent the spread of Baylisascaris and other intestinal parasites that raccoons may carry.


1. What diseases do raccoons carry?

Raccoons can carry several diseases, including rabies, leptospirosis, roundworm, and raccoon parvoviral enteritis. These diseases can be transmitted to humans and other animals through direct contact with raccoon saliva, urine, feces, or bites.

2. How can raccoon diseases be transmitted to humans?

Raccoon diseases can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected raccoons, their saliva, urine, feces, or bites. It is important to avoid handling raccoons or their waste without proper protection, as well as to prevent raccoons from entering living spaces where they can come into contact with humans.

Related Article: “What Do Raccoon Feces Look Like?”

3. Are raccoon diseases treatable?

Some diseases carried by raccoons, such as rabies and leptospirosis, can be treated if diagnosed early. However, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect exposure to raccoon-borne diseases. Prevention, such as avoiding contact with raccoons and properly securing garbage, is the best way to reduce the risk of contracting these diseases.


In conclusion, it is crucial to understand the diseases carried by raccoons for the safety and well-being of ourselves, our pets, and other wildlife. Rabies poses a serious concern, as raccoons are known carriers of this deadly virus. It is important to be aware of the prevalence of rabies in raccoons, how they contract and transmit the disease, and the potential risks it poses to humans and pets. Taking preventive measures such as vaccinating our pets and avoiding contact with infected raccoons can help protect against rabies.

Roundworm infection is another hidden threat associated with raccoons. Understanding how roundworms are transmitted and the potential risks they pose to humans and pets is essential. Practicing proper hygiene and regular deworming for our pets can help prevent roundworm infection.

Related Article:What Do Raccoons Do To Humans

Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection carried by raccoons, can also pose risks to humans and pets. Knowing how raccoons can carry and transmit the bacteria, recognizing the symptoms, and taking preventive measures such as avoiding contact with raccoon urine and vaccinating our pets can help mitigate these risks.

Canine distemper, a viral disease, is a threat to pet dogs and other wildlife. Being aware of how raccoons can carry and spread the virus, recognizing the symptoms, and ensuring our pet dogs are properly vaccinated can help protect them from this disease.

Raccoons can also carry and transmit Salmonella, a foodborne pathogen. Understanding how raccoons can spread this bacteria, recognizing the symptoms, and practicing proper food handling and hygiene practices can help reduce the risks of Salmonella infection.

It is important to note that raccoons can also carry other diseases and parasites such as ticks, fleas, and mites. Being aware of these potential risks and taking necessary preventive measures, such as using tick and flea preventatives for our pets, can help protect against these diseases and parasites.

In conclusion, by understanding the diseases carried by raccoons and taking necessary precautions, we can ensure our safety and the well-being of our pets. If you suspect any disease or encounter a raccoon that appears sick or aggressive, it is crucial to seek professional help. Share this blog post with others who might benefit from this information and let’s work together to stay safe and protect our loved ones.

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