What Infections Can You Get From Raccoons?

Wild raccoons are dangerous for many reasons, and pose a threat to humans, pets, lawns, gardens, structures, and more. But one of the most qualifying reasons why raccoons are so dangerous is that they are common carriers of various infectious diseases and illnesses. Although raccoons are notoriously known for the Rabies virus, there are many more diseases and infections that are just as dangerous to contract, for both humans and pets. Fortunately, humans and pets can be vaccinated against many of these contagious diseases. Continue reading to learn what you and your pets can contract from wild raccoons.


Raccoons are known to be common carriers of the Rabies virus. If the saliva, blood, or bodily fluid of an infected raccoon comes into contact with another mammal’s blood stream, they are at high risk of contracting the virus. For this reason, it is important to vaccinate your pets against the Rabies virus, as well as other potential illnesses they can contract. Your vet will have all this information for you. As for humans, if you are bitten by a rabid or infected raccoon, it is important to seek medical attention from your health care provider the same or next day. You will likely be administered a Rabies vaccine shot. Unfortunately, once an unvaccinated dog or cat is exposed to the virus, there is no cure.


Leptospirosis is another contagious disease known to be transmitted by wild raccoons. It is caused by the Leptospira bacteria, which is found and transmitted in raccoon urine. Most mammals are infected after coming into contact (eyes, throat, nose, skin, etc.) with water that has been contaminated with raccoon urine containing the bacteria. Dogs are mostly at risk of contracting Leptospirosis, which is why vaccinations are so vital to their health.


Raccoon distemper comes from canine or feline distemper, and is dangerous virus that can be passed along to pets but not humans. This virus is extremely contagious and common in large populations of raccoons. Signs of the virus initially appear flu-like, eventually maturing into a state of confusion and disorientation. If transmitted to a pet, it can cause acute illness and death. And unfortunately, there is no treatment once infected. This is why vaccinating your pets through a trusted veterinarian is so critical.

Other Infectious Diseases

There is more to be concerned about when it comes to raccoon diseases. They can also transmit other ailments, including:

• Roundworm
• Parasites (i.e. coccidiosis)
• Mange
• Lice
• Fleas
• Ticks

Windy City Wildlife

Call Windy City Wildlife at 773-913-0011 for safe and humane raccoon control in Chicago, Illinois. We are DNR licensed and insured wildlife rescue contractors that provide a wide range of 24 hour raccoon removal and control services for residential and commercial properties.

You can get non-lethal raccoon removal and preventative maintenance service at the most competitive price in town! Call 773-913-0011 for a free estimate for Chicago raccoon removal, today.

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