It’s rare for dogs and raccoons to encounter one another and have any sort of interaction due to the fact that raccoons are nocturnal. However, it’s important to understand that they can still leave behind some things that can be dangerous to your dog. Hiring professional wildlife removal service for raccoon removal is an essential step in the safe removal of the animal and protection for your dog.
We’re going to discuss the dangers of the urine and the poop that raccoons leave behind after they’ve been through your yard.
For dog owners who aren’t familiar with raccoon poop, it’s important to know that it can look very similar to that of dog poop. Raccoons will poop anywhere in your yard. They’re not particular as many dogs are. Just like cats, raccoons tend to go wherever they are and will typically return time and again to the same area. They create their own little latrine where they urinate and poop on a consistent basis. This can result in a large pile of raccoon poop. Should you spot an area where there is a large amount of animal poop, it’s likely raccoon poop. You’ll want to get this cleaned up immediately because raccoon poop can become a serious danger to your pets. Raccoon poop is a host to many serious diseases that may also infect your pets.
Raccoons can transmit a condition called leptospirosis through their urine. This is a bacterial infection that causes symptoms similar to the flu. Dogs can then pass this condition on to humans when they come into contact with the dog’s urine. It’s very important to keep dogs away from areas in the yard that raccoons may frequent. Typically, a dog will ingest the urine from the raccoon’s latrine or they may drink water from a puddle or a stagnant pond that has been contaminated with leptospirosis. The dog will begin to experience aches and pains and sore muscles. As it progresses, the dog may spike a fever and their eyes will begin to yellow. Diarrhea, lethargy, and eventually, dark urine will follow. For any dog that spends a lot of time outdoors, it’s important to ensure that they’ve received a leptospirosis vaccine.
Giardia is another condition that raccoons can readily pass on to other animals. Giardia is passed from the raccoon to a dog and finally to the dog’s human with disastrous results. Dogs will get the giardia via raccoon feces or by drinking infected water (again, a puddle or other water source outside). Giardia causes vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and finally weight loss. Many dogs won’t show any symptoms at all so annual fecal exams are vital to keeping giardia in check. When a dog develops unexplained vomiting or diarrhea, the veterinarian should always check for giardia.
Also referred to as roundworm, this happens when dogs eat the raccoon feces that have been infected with a parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis. The dogs become infected with the worms and then can pass it along to humans. This is called a zoonotic disease (passes from animals to humans). while it may not directly affect the raccoon, it will cause issues in the dog as the larva migrate to their brain and attack their central nervous system. Early stages may be mistaken for rabies. symptoms include loss of coordination, difficulty swallowing, loss of muscle control, confusion, circling, and seizures.
Toronto was plagued in 2009 by distemper. It killed off hundreds of raccoons and skunks. Distemper can’t be passed along to humans, however, it’s spread to gods that become infected with it via food, urine, water, or poop. Puppies are especially vulnerable to this condition. Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date to prevent this deadly disease.