Raccoon drowned in pond?!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lilki, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a large koi pond on our property. The fish in there are 2-3 feet and the raccoons are always trying to figure out how to get them. The water is deep and there are places for the fish to hide.

    This morning we found a dead raccoon in the pond. I can't believe that it drowned, unless it was so intent on catching a fish that it forgot it had to breath. There are plenty of shallow areas it could've gotten out of. It's kind of weirding me out because I know they carry all kinds of diseases. My husband already buried it but now I'm wondering if we should've had it checked for rabies. We found another dead one about six months ago. I'm also worried that by burying it it could possibly spread disease, though he said he buried it deep enough.

    My question is: would you look into a suspicious raccoon death and how would you dispose of it?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I would want a post mortem exam at the state vet lab; in fact our DNR will have that done, monitoring the health of raccoons and other wildlife around here. Rabies testing must be done on fresh or chilled carcasses, not frozen. It's buried, so don't bother digging it up. Also, don't handle one without gloves and general care to avoid catching something (RABIES!) especially. You could call your state DNR about their policies about this. Mary
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rabies causes extreme thirst and disorientation/ mental confusion. Perhaps it had rabies and fell in and couldn't get itself out.
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will never contact the county or state again regarding an animal that I think is rabid. I did so about three years ago and basically treated as a nuisance. There was a coon in our yard that was sitting on it's haunches wobbling and swaying back and forth snapping at the air. As I approached it it never acknowledged me. I took a body shot to preserve the head. I then proceeded to *try* and contact someone about it. I started with the state rabies guy in Montgomery, then was sent to the county rabies "police" who had no idea why I was bringing a dead coon to her. I was told to do this, to do that, to carry it here, to carry it there. It was more a case of keystone cops. I finally delivered it to the county health department. They removed it from the cooler that I had it in and put it in their own cooler....I guess they really thought I wanted that cooler back.

    Anyhow, a day or so later I called the county and was told it was distemper. I even know if they really tested the coon or not...maybe they were just trying to get rid of worried citizen. Seems the symptoms are much the same as with rabies. But, I was told by some people that I have more confidence in that the jokers I had to deal with, that any coon acting strangely in our area is considered rabid as their is a high incidence of it here.

    If I run up on a strangely acting coon I'll just adhere to SSS...contacting "authorities" just isn't worth the hassle.

    Provided you weren't scratched or anything by it I wouldn't worry about it. I don't know if I'd be soaking my feet in the goldfish pond, though. ;)

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've talked to several vets and it does appear that at least in our area, distemper can be a big problem in raccoons.
    Also, unless an animal has bitten or scratched a human the state doesn't want to bother with it. We had a skunk come out of the woods at dusk and was wobbling in our yard so my husband shot it. (After calling the dogs in. Thankfully they listened.) Because it hadn't attacked a human or pet, we would have had to pay to have it tested.
    But they did tell us how to get rid of the body. They said not to bury it. We got a good fire going and then burned it. After the fire went out, we buried the ashes deeply, but that was probably overkill.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    It's possible to get the royal runaround, not good. K9 distemper, and rabies, among other things, cause neurological signs that look the same often. Our DNR in Michigan was and is much more user friendly! Animal control should do better, but if the critter hasn't interacted with a human or pet, they usually aren't interested in sending it for testing. The last neurological raccoon that I shot (in my barn!!!) had lesions in his brain probably from parasite migration, and was rabies and distemper negative. Mary
     
  7. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our situation was that between us and my MIL we had four dogs that free range on the place. By the time we found the coon any one of them could have had contact with it, we had no way of knowing whether they had or hadn't.

    We are a little picky about possible rabies infected creatures. My daughter was bitten by an injured dog that she tried to help. The owners, who lived along a stretch of river and bottomland assured us that the dog was current with its rabies vaccination. Nope, it wasn't current by a LONG SHOT. While we were learning that it wasn't current, they disposed of the dog in a flooded creek!...dog long gone so it could not send it in for testing. My daughter had to go through the set of shots to be sure she didn't come down with rabies. The odds were that the dog was not rabid, but remember, you only get one time to do anything about rabies...there's no second chances or re-do's.

    Ed
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    The good news is that your daughter is now protected, and a lot wiser. Sorry she had to be bitten, and what lousy neighbors! All my animals are vaccinated against rabies, and get boostered again anytime there's a possible exposure. Likewise my DH and myself! It's nothing to fool around with, it's about survival. Mary
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, she's good to go now for a while....heck'uva vaccination, though!
     
  10. Lilki

    Lilki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow @Intheswamp how incredibly frustrating!! When we trapped a killer cannibal squirrel (no joke) awhile back I called vector control to see if I could have it tested. They called a few days later (thanks guys) to say I should've contacted the Health Dept. and they would've tested it for rabies. I have heard that raccoons are major carriers of k9 distemper, so hopefully they weren't just jacking you around.

    @Folly's place a possibly rabid raccoon in your barn? Eek!
     

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