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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was out running my shorthair after work this evening just before dark. I heard a yelp and looked ahead about 75 yards and saw the dog jump back from something that was up against a big tree in some brush. Soon dawned on me that it was a ****. There appeared to be something seriously wrong with this **** as he had a hard time standing, or even moving much at all. First of all a raccoon out in the dead of winter in Minnesota tells me there is something wrong with it. It didn't appear to have any broken limbs just could not keep itself righted very long and would roll over on its side every now and then. I didn't see any wounds on the dog but I went and called the vet just to make sure. They told me that he is up to date with his rabie shots and that any other diseases it might have should not affect him from a bite. They said with humans there could be a problem, but not dogs that have had there vaccinations. Anyway I went back out and dispatched the **** just in case I wanted to have it tested, which would cost $75 - $100 if I so choose. My question is, do I have any reason to question the Vet on this. ?
 

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If your personal doctor said you had cancer would you believe him/her or would you get a second opinion?
 

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I wouldn't worry about it, with the warm weather we've been having the ***** have been out in force; in fact it isn't rare to have some wake in a normal winter. They don't do a true hibernation like frogs but instead do what I would describe as a deep yoga like trance where they slow their bodily functions down to the point of almost stopping. What you saw is how they commonly act when awakened from their slumber. I am co-owner of a small animal control company and we have had to dispatch several since New Years. In the warming since Christmas, twice the dogs have caught raccoons like you mention and one other time I saw one sitting in a tree. In years past, I've even had them raid the fish box while ice fishing. As you didn't find any injury to the dog, I would go with your vet's opinion as it would mirror my vet's and my own based on exxperience.
 

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If the dog has had several vaccinations against rabies, I wouldn't worry about the dog. It's hard to tell what may have been wrong with the ****.

Personally, I wouldn't handle the **** just in case it might be rabies. The dog has been vaccinated against rabies. YOU HAVEN'T.
 

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uglydog Posted: They don't do a true hibernation like frogs but instead do what I would describe as a deep yoga like trance where they slow their bodily functions down to the point of almost stopping
I didn't know that ***** did this. Around here you see them the year round. In fact they come up an eat out of the our pets food bowls all the time. You see their tracks even when its 10-15 degree's an snow on the ground.
 

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I had a similar expreience with my Wirehair when she killed a family of ***** a few years ago. Called the vet they gave me the same answer and she never developed any problems.
 

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My brother has hunted ***** for about 25 years and has had dog after dog bit, as long as the shots are up to date you should be ok. If it make you feel better then give the vet a call and ask him or her.
 

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Birdshooter,
I live in MN, about the ruffed grouse/pheasant interphase area, so I am not talking about a much warmer climate like some of the other posters.

EyeMissum,
Bears have a similar hibernating habit as raccoons, I helped do tagging and radio collaring for a few winters starting in college. It was quite unnerving the first time I dug into a den and found the bear looking back at me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It was probably 30 minutes before I went back to dispatch the **** and it was still in the exact spot and acting as though it had some sort of paralysis. I find out later that this is an advanced symptom of rabies. I walked within 10 yards of this thing and it hardly moved. I'm fairly certain this **** was sick. Anyway, the vet said although he is up to date on shots, there would be absolutely no harm in getting his booster now. Good insurance as I put it. Thinking I should go out and burn the remains??
 

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Birdshooter,
I still am pretty sure your raccoon is acting normal, remember the animal has come out of a deep sleep rather early and is still quite lethargic. The one I saw in a tree was up there for a couple of hours, some of which it appeared to be asleep. I wouldn't mess with buning the animal, the worst that can happen is a fire could break out. Just leave it for the crows and other critters; they need to get through the winter too.
 

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birdshooter said:
Anyway I went back out and dispatched the **** just in case I wanted to have it tested, which would cost $75 - $100 if I so choose. My question is, do I have any reason to question the Vet on this. ?
Why should you flip the bill for having the animal tested? If there is a concern for a disease such as rabies, wouldn't the local health dept. step up to the plate? Isn't that a public health issue? :? I think the animal should be tested. I agree with uglydog, he's probably right. But why take a chance with something like rabies? Even though you know that your dog is safe, if it's going around the area, all it takes is a dog that is NOT vaccinated to come in contact with it.
 

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Got love those wirehairs huh Chaco. Mine killed a beaver the other day and a coyote about a month ago
Yea it's great GWp especially when she brought the Porcupine back to us.
 

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Got love those wirehairs huh Chaco. Mine killed a beaver the other day and a coyote about a month ago.[/quote]

My two kill anything that comes near their kennels and is stupid enough to stop and look in.
Forget in the field. Noting is safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
cg said:
birdshooter said:
Anyway I went back out and dispatched the **** just in case I wanted to have it tested, which would cost $75 - $100 if I so choose. My question is, do I have any reason to question the Vet on this. ?
Why should you flip the bill for having the animal tested? If there is a concern for a disease such as rabies, wouldn't the local health dept. step up to the plate? Isn't that a public health issue? :? I think the animal should be tested. I agree with uglydog, he's probably right. But why take a chance with something like rabies? Even though you know that your dog is safe, if it's going around the area, all it takes is a dog that is NOT vaccinated to come in contact with it.
I was told by my vet that if it was a human bite then there would be no charge, but for a pet its a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chaco1 said:
Got love those wirehairs huh Chaco. Mine killed a beaver the other day and a coyote about a month ago
Yea it's great GWp especially when she brought the Porcupine back to us.
That couldn't have felt too good :shock:
 

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Bird shooter if you contact your local health dept see what they tell you about having it tested, but if this was the middle of the day with what your desc loss of balance and motor control I would bet you a flat of shells it was rabid. There is usually more if you check the cdc.gov web site and look at the rate of rabies in your area.
 

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Actually, checking the CDC website and following some of their links shows a rather small incidence of rabies in raccoons in this area of the United States. It is rhetoric but I would take up that bet as this is a normal behavior of raccoons at this time of year in this part of the country. The unusually warm weather has "woken" up the raccoons much earlier than normal which often leaves them groggy and lethargic due to the battle between the weather and internal "alarm clock". Being that the warm temps that have aroused them occur during the day it is expected that that is the time they will out and about in an attempt to feed themselves. After the sun goes down and the temps drop, raccoons return to their normal state of being in a deep stupor. The cooler weather now moving in will put them back to bed until the next warm up. Too many of these warm ups and/or ong durations can have a negative affect on raccoons ability to survive the winter. Depending on one's viewpoint this could be good or it could be bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Article from the Minneapolis Star and Tribune on raccoons.

Outdoors Journal: First active raccoon

After the first of the year, many students of nature are constantly on the lookout for raccoon tracks in the snow so that when they are seen this event can be recorded as one of the first signs of spring.
In Minnesota, raccoons den up for the winter. Natural dens are hollow trees, logs and caves, but they also live in abandoned houses, barns and outbuildings. They build up fat reserves in the fall that enable them to stay holed up in their dens during deep snow or very cold weather, but those living in the southern states remain active all winter and are constantly hunting for food because they have not stored up body fat.

The raccoon is not a true hibernator although it dens up and remains inactive for several weeks. Its body metabolism does not decrease nor its temperature drop like a hibernating animal such as the woodchuck.

Temperature is the controlling factor in a raccoon's denning up, with the dividing line between remaining active and inactive about 27 degrees Fahrenheit. As winter continues, the raccoon becomes acclimated to the cold and will move about at lower temperatures, and by the time the breeding season arrives in January or February, the males move in almost zero-degree weather.
 
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