Ask the Veterinarian/Rabies

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Question
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
Most likely that the raccoon had rabies but now you'll never know. It should have been trapped and tested.

Hopefully all your pets are vaccinated for rabies. I hope that it didn't get too close to the kids. Rabies is spread by contact with the animals saliva or by being bit by the rabid animal.

Raccoons are notorious for getting and carrying rabies.
You really should have your dog updated on his vaccinations and contact your local health department about the raccoon being so close to the kids.

Better to be safe than sorry!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT

Expertise

PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!

Experience

I have over 42 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love. I also Teach Veterinary Technology to working technicians who are studying to take their California Tests to become Licensed Technicians. They have to take both the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and the California boards.

Organizations
Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Publications
http://askthevettech.com/

Education/Credentials
Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 1500 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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