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If you are bitten by ANY wild animal, we would recommend that you get yourself off to see a medical professional as soon as possible. The bite itself might not look so bad, and in some cases you might not even see much of an injury at all. Sadly, this does not mean you are safe. As well as the physical injuries you may experience when you come face to face with an angry, attacking raccoon, there are also more than a few disease threats to concern yourself with.
Raccoons are perceived as quite cute creatures, especially on social media, and although most of them would prefer NOT to attack you, there are times when attack is the only option they see they have. If you have them cornered in a trap, for example, and you’re daft enough to let your fingers get too close, there is a good chance the raccoon will attack, using its claws and teeth to cause damage. It will generally only be when you disturb the raccoon and corner it that you will find it could attack you, but it could get a tad annoyed if you disturb it trying to eat, particularly if it has been hungry for a while.
If you have been bitten or scratched by a raccoon, we recommend seeking urgent medical attention because of the threats of disease: rabies, salmonella, leptospirosis, and raccoon roundworm. As you can imagine, none of them are particularly friendly.
We’ll start with rabies. It’s super dangerous because you MUST get treatment (a vaccination) BEFORE the symptoms start. If the symptoms have already started, death is usually imminent. You won’t be able to know just from looking at a raccoon, or other wild animal, whether or not it is carrying the rabies virus. You won’t even know that the virus has been transferred until a few days or weeks later when flu-like symptoms start to show. You’ll more than likely ignore these, putting it down to just a common cold or flu, and before you know it, you’ll be very poorly indeed. And it would all have started from a seemingly insignificant raccoon bite that didn’t even bleed.
For the record, if a raccoon licks its claws and then scratches you, the rabies infection can still be passed on.
Although raccoon roundworm, salmonella and leptospirosis are generally transferred via the waste matter of the raccoon - feces and urine - they can be spread in all manner of ways, and often without your knowledge.
Wild animals are just that - wild. They are often dirty, rife with disease, and don’t particularly care about the mess they make while they’re tearing into your garbage can or pulling apart from the flower beds in your back garden. The last thing you will want is for those teeth and claws to be tearing into you. Keep your distance from an wild animal, and definitely ones that you know how those sharp teeth and claws. Respect them and they’ll respect you. Get a professional in to remove a wild raccoon and you won’t run the risk of getting bitten or scratched!
For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does raccoon removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of raccoons - my main raccoon removal info guide.
Example raccoon trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Raccoon job blog - learn from great examples of raccoon jobs I've done.
raccoons in the attic