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Home » Blog » How To Tell If A Raccoon Has Rabies

How To Tell If A Raccoon Has Rabies

how do you know if a raccoon has rabies

Rabies is a serious viral disease that affects mammals, including raccoons. Knowing if a raccoon has rabies is crucial for your safety and wildlife's well-being. This comprehensive guide will delve into the key indicators that can help you determine if a raccoon is infected with rabies.

Understanding Rabies

Before we delve into the specific signs of rabies in raccoons, let's first understand what rabies is. Rabies is a viral infection that affects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is typically transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, most commonly through bites.

Behavioral Changes

One of the primary indicators of rabies in raccoons is unusual behavior. Infected raccoons may display erratic behavior such as aggression, disorientation, and unprovoked attacks. If you encounter a raccoon that is unusually aggressive or exhibits strange behavior, it could be a sign of rabies.

Foaming at the Mouth

how do you know if a raccoon has rabies

Another common sign of rabies in raccoons is foaming at the mouth. This occurs due to paralysis of the throat and jaw muscles, leading to excessive drooling and foaming. If you observe a raccoon with foamy saliva around its mouth, it's essential to exercise caution and avoid approaching the animal.

Daytime Activity

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so seeing them active during the day can be a cause for concern, especially if they appear disoriented or exhibit abnormal behavior. Rabies can disrupt the natural behavioral patterns of raccoons, causing them to be active during daylight hours.

Physical Symptoms

In addition to behavioral changes, rabid raccoons may also display physical symptoms such as weakness, paralysis, and difficulty walking. These symptoms can vary depending on the stage of the infection, but any noticeable physical abnormalities should be taken seriously.

Approach with Caution

If you encounter a raccoon that you suspect may be infected with rabies, it's crucial to exercise caution and avoid direct contact with the animal. Keep a safe distance and avoid provoking or antagonizing the raccoon. Contact local wildlife authorities or animal control professionals to handle the situation safely.

Taking Action Against Rabies

foaming rabid raccoon

When dealing with potential cases of rabies in raccoons, it's crucial to take swift and decisive action. Here are some steps you can take to address the situation effectively:

  • Contact Authorities: If you encounter a raccoon exhibiting signs of rabies, such as aggressive behavior or foaming at the mouth, contact your local wildlife authorities or animal control agency immediately. These professionals are trained to handle wildlife emergencies and can safely capture and remove the infected animal from the area.
  • Avoid Direct Contact: You should not attempt to handle or approach a raccoon you suspect may be infected with rabies. Rabies is a highly contagious virus that can be transmitted through saliva, so any direct contact with an infected animal poses a significant risk of exposure.
  • Protect Pets: Keep your pets indoors and away from potentially rabid wildlife. Ensure your pets are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations to protect them from contracting the virus. If your pet comes into contact with a raccoon or other wild animal, consult your veterinarian immediately.
  • Secure Garbage: Raccoons are attracted to food sources such as garbage bins, so take steps to secure your trash and prevent wildlife from accessing it. Use secure lids on your garbage cans and avoid leaving food or pet food outside where raccoons can easily access it.
  • Educate Others: Raise awareness about the dangers of rabies and the importance of identifying and reporting potential cases to local authorities. Encourage your neighbors and community members to take precautions to avoid encounters with rabid wildlife and report suspicious behavior.
  • Stay Informed: Follow updates from local health departments and wildlife agencies to stay informed about rabies activity in your area. Knowing the current rabies outbreaks in your area can help you take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your family.


Identifying and addressing signs of rabies in raccoons is essential for public health and safety. Knowing how to recognize the behavioral and physical indicators of rabies and taking appropriate action can help prevent the spread of this deadly virus in your community.

Remember, if you encounter a raccoon you suspect may be infected with rabies, contact local authorities immediately and avoid direct contact with the animal. By working together, we can help protect both humans and wildlife from the dangers of rabies.

For professional humane wildlife removal services, consider contacting Critter Stop at (214) 234-2616 for a free inspection. Critter Stop has a fantastic reputation, and customer reviews online because it provides high-quality work and great customer service.

FAQ: Identifying Signs of Rabies in Raccoons

As experts in pest control and wildlife management, we understand the importance of identifying signs of rabies in raccoons for the safety of both humans and wildlife. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about recognizing and handling rabid raccoons.

How do you know if a raccoon has rabies?

Recognizing signs of rabies in raccoons includes observing unusual behavior like aggression, disorientation, and foaming at the mouth. If a raccoon displays these symptoms, it's crucial to exercise caution and contact local wildlife authorities immediately.

What is the most common rabid raccoon behavior?

The most common rabid raccoon behavior includes aggression, disorientation, and daytime activity. Rabies can cause raccoons to exhibit erratic behavior and may lead to unprovoked attacks on humans or other animals.

What to do if you see a foaming rabid raccoon?

If you encounter a foaming rabid raccoon, staying calm and avoiding approaching the animal is essential. Keep a safe distance and contact local wildlife authorities or animal control professionals for assistance. Do not attempt to handle or interact with the raccoon yourself.

How to know if a raccoon has rabies in the wild?

Identifying rabies in raccoons in the wild involves observing their behavior and physical symptoms. Look for signs such as aggression, foaming at the mouth, and unusual daytime activity. If you suspect a raccoon may be infected with rabies, contact wildlife authorities for further evaluation and assistance.

For professional wildlife removal services and assistance with rabies prevention, contact Critter Stop at (214) 234-2616 for a free inspection. Critter Stop is your trusted partner in humane pest control solutions.

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Lee Gorman
Lee Gorman
13:50 21 Nov 22
I’d give a 10 star review if I could! We had a great experience with Critter Stop. Everyone I dealt was friendly, professional, and reassuring. Phillip was very helpful and knowledgeable about the work he was doing. He walked me around the entire house to make sure I saw and understood the services he provided. He was also really nice and answered all my questions — he is exactly the type of person that should be interacting with customers.I love the fact that they will come back for up to 1 year after installation if any problems occur — this shows me they stand behind their work.The owner was great too, he personally came to my house and walked me through their offering. I recommend critter stop to anyone and everyone!
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Susan Casey
14:53 15 Nov 22
Critter Stop is a fantastic business! Everyone involved is extremely professional and very easy to communicate with. Chisam, the owner, did a great job of explaining the process to get the squirrels out of my attic during the initial free estimate. The exclusion crew who did all of the initial work was fabulous. The crew consisted of Phillip, Nick and Corey who arrived promptly when they said they would. They are happy, positive employees. Everyone is very polite and patient in explaining their work and answering questions. They came back several times to check the traps and finish it off with the fogging. Lester was very good about following up to schedule each trap check with me, and the office staff who took care of the billing was very efficient. Critter Stop is a well run company with honest, trustworthy employees! Thank you to all of you who worked hard to make my attic critter free and for the peace of mind that you guarantee your work. Great to know I can call them if for some reason a squirrel figures out a way to get back in!
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Karen Eckholdt
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Critter Stop has made this project easy and extremely professional from start to finish! They are very detailed and competent from start to finish and know so much about their business. They made a problem easy for us and at a reasonable cost. We would be happy to recommend this company and their owners and staff to anyone.
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Jacob Scribner
19:23 27 Jul 22
Brandon and his other coworker Gavin came to install insulation in my attic. I am very grateful for the hard work and professionalism. My house feels a lot better with the insulation installed. 5 star review. Cory Leach was also very nice and helpful. He came to my house to do another job and was very attentive and professional. Thank you Corey and thank you Critter Stop for helping me.The owner very polite and helpful, I’m glad I found this company to help me.
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