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Question
Hello,
   I had been seeing this young raccoon around our neighborhood out in daylight and just wandering around like it was in pain.  Yesterday it came into our yard where kids were playing.  It was trying to get to the house and even with a lot of people around it showed no fear.  It walked stiffly and it was confused.  Do you think this was Rabies?
   A neighbor got a gun and shot it.  The 3 shot did it and it did this crazy dance which was upsetting but the shooter said animals do that when killed with nerves.  Do they or was it still alive when it flailed all over?
    I took my dog for a walk in this very cold weather and it was very stiff and in pain for a couple of days.  How do dogs get Rabies?  He is OK now but do I have anything to worry about?

Answer
Dear Don,
Wild animals accounted for majority of reported cases of rabies in US. Raccoons continued to be the most frequently reported rabid wildlife species.
Signs of rabies last for about a week in raccoons before the animals die. 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. 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.

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. At this time, it is especially important to avoid raccoons in this condition, and to prevent pets from coming into contact with them.

The confirmation of rabies is made on the basis of  laboratory tests done on the brain tissue of the suspected animal.I think that was not done in this case.I persume the crazy dance that has been made after gun shot, is only involuntary movements.

You may please go through details from Centre For Disease Control @ http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/pets/index.html

I hope this information helps.
wish you all the best

anand

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Dr S Bindu Anand

Expertise

Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine http://binduanand.webs.com/

Experience

A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Organizations
Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

Education/Credentials
BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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