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Raccoon Health

prisoner Important Note:
If you should decide to have a pet raccoon, find a veterinarian that will treat your pet before you get one. Unless the raccoon is legally obtained, it is usually illegal for the veterinarian to treat the animal. Some may feel they don't have the experience to treat exotic animals; some may not want the experience even if your raccoon is legal.

In general, the raccoon has few health problems, but. .

The raccoon can get both dog and cat rabies. It can be vaccinated against both diseases if a killed vaccine is used. If you intend to keep your pet indoors at all times, this may not be necessary.

Raccoons can be vaccinated against a variety of diseases they may acquire. Only killed vaccines should be used.

Disease Vaccine Manufacturer
Feline Panleukopenia Fel-o-vax Fort Dodge Animal Health
Canine Distemper Fervac-TTM United Vaccine
  Duramune 5 Way Fort Dodge Animal Health
  Recombitek C- 4TM Rhone-Merieux
  Distemink United Vaccine
Raccoon Parvovirus Biovac United Vaccine
Rabies Rabvac-3TM Solvay
  Imrab-3TM Solvay

Gastrointestinal upsets:
At times your pet may eat something that causes either diarrhea or constipation. Usually the problem can be solved by either giving the raccoon some cream for constipation or rice or corn if the poor little guy has diarrhea. Diarrhea is often caused by a change in diet,overeating, extreme change in temperature or stress. If the coon's temperature is normal (below 102.5) Neo_Pectasol or Pectalin can be administered at 1cc per pound of body weight three times a day. If the diarrhea lasts more than 36 hours, see a vet immediately.Sometimes, if he gets outside, he may eat something gross and have a more serious problem. One coon I know ate a rat and got a swollen spleen as a result. He was fine after treatment by his doctor.
Heart Failure:
Raccoons that are neutered tend to become obese. The raccoon is lazy by nature. Once they're obese, they develop heart conditions. The best way to avoid this is to keep the raccoon slim and on a low fat diet. Sound familiar?
Raccoons, like dogs and cats, can get worms. Dosing the raccoon with piperazine under a veterinarian's care is a safe way to handle this if the 'coon has round worms.
Parasite Drug Dosage
Roundworms Piperazine salts

Pyrantel Pamoate

100 mg/kg given orally once

1 tsp./10 lbs. Given once

Hookworms Pyrantel Pamoate


5ml/10 lbs. weight given once

15 mg/kg given for 2 days

Tapeworms Praziquantel 5mg/kg given once
My vet says pyrethrins are safe, but be careful of dosage.
Geriatric Raccoons:
If a raccoon lives long enough and doesn't die of a heart condition, other conditions that may prove fatal are kidney and liver failure. Both of these can be controlled with diet and medication under the supervision of a vet.
Seizures - Epilepsy
Yes, we raccoons can have seizures, but they can be controlled. All seizures are related to an abnormality in the central nervous system. Those for which a cause can be found are referred to as acquired epilepsy. Causes may include ingestion of toxin, trauma, infectious diseases such as distemper, metabolic imbalances such as liver or kidney failure or even a brain tumor. Idiopathic epilepsy is that for which no cause can be found. If your raccoon has a seizure, write down all the details you observe to help your veterinarian diagnose the problem. Note how long the seizure lasts, is only one side of the body affected, or are both affected, does he have only one seizure or multiple seizures, does he urinate or defecate? How does he behave after the seizure? Is he confused, restless, unresponsive or even suffer from temporary blindness?

Your vet. will conduct a series of tests. If a cause is found, it will be treated. If no cause is found, treatment to control the epilepsy will be begun. The goal of such treatment is to decrease the frequency and severity of their seizures without serious side effects.

Phenobarbitol (Primedone) is the drug most often used. Physical dependence on the drug occurs, and it should never be withdrawn except in gradually reduced dosages over a period of time. It's important to have your raccoon's blood serum levels tested frequently during treatment as no two raccoons are alike in the dose they need. In fact, your own raccoon will need to have his dose adjusted from time to time.

When your raccoon has a seizure, you can help him by keeping him as quiet as possible. Turn off the TV and lights. Remove other animals and people from the room and try to comfort him. If he usually sleeps in a bed under covers, try putting a blanket over him.

Special Thanks to Remo from the remo raccoon page, for helping me provide this information, you can find his page at.

This page was created on 08/27/04