I have two male raccoons that I found after their mother was hit by a car last may. I have been raising them for release this Spring, however, they have been losing their fur on their hind-quarters the last 6 to 8 weeks. It has been a slow loss of fur and one raccoon is losing it a little faster than the other. The skin in the area of the fur loss is soft, supple and has no sign of redness, scaling or unusual discoloration. They are in a 20 x 5 foot kennel that I have covered the bottom with pine bark. I clean the kennel everyday. I change the water in their little swimming pool everyday. What could be causing this and how do I treat it before I release them.
Type of Animal: Raccoons
Pet's Gender: Male
Pet's Age: 1 year
Cleaning the area affected and cleaning the environment.
I am Dr. Devlin and I am happy to assist you. Rear-quarter hair loss in raccoons is often related to itchiness - you see the hair loss where they are able to easily groom and lick/scratch the hair. Allergies would be high on my list, as well as sarcoptic mange - even with the lack of other signs such as scale or redness. I would recommend treating, off-label of course (product is not approved for this species) with Revolution every 2 weeks for three weeks. This will treat fleas and some types of mange. Because raccoons groom so well, you may never find evidence of the occ. flea, but a bite every couple of weeks could cause these symptoms. Unfortunately, this requires a prescription, so you will need to have a vet in your area prescribe it for you. I personally haven't used it on raccoons, but have on opossums. The published dose is the same, 6 ug/kg of Weight, but again, you will need to check with a vet. For legality reasons, we cannot prescribe medications. You may also want to consider switching to a different bedding material - the aromatic barks, such as pine, can be toxic to the lungs and skin when concentrated. I hope this helps and keep us posted. Laura Devlin
DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Practice, Veterinarian since 2000
I forgot to add to please make sure you have dewormed them and of course take great care with their droppings - baylisascaris is potentially fatal and is a roundworm shed by raccoons. In addition, ringworm is also a consideration, among other potential causes of hairloss - I only mentioned the most likely ones based on the description of the location. Best luck!Laura
I have Revolution for my 3 cats and can get more as I need it. I understand its not approved for the species, however, in reviewing your answer, I am unclear on the amount and the frequency. How does UG's convert to ML's (sorry to be so ignorant but I have no idea what UG's are) . Also, did you mean every two or three weeks? I've already treated them with 5 mls each. They weigh about 20 pounds. Thanks again for your help!Steven (Customer)
I'm very sorry for the delay with my reply. The Just Answer's site was down for awhile earlier and I couldn't post my reply, although I was able to view questions. Looks like everything is working again!The cat revolution (BLUE) would contain 45 mg in a 0.75 ml total volume. A 20 lb raccoon (again, off-label) would need about 65 mg (mg, not ug, I think that must have been accidentally changed during my spell checking), although it would be safer to dose them a little higher. This would equal approx. 1.5 tubes of the BLUE cat strength per patient. I would apply on the neck where they couldn't easily reach to lick.I'm not sure if you wrote down the right amount that you administered to them in your post, but it would take 6 2/3 tubes (of the cat size) to equal the amount you put on them, based on the volume that you mentioned. That would be too much. Reports of puppies overdosed with 10 x the amount showed no symptoms what-so-ever. However, if the raccoons licked themselves and ingested some, you could see excess salivation, licking lips, vomiting, anorexia, depression, and lethargy.Again, I can't recommend the dosing or prescribe it, but I can let you know the literature and volumes that have been used in this species, and allow you to discuss that with your vet. Please let me know if you have other questions. Treat every 2 weeks for a total of 3 treatments, and then apply monthly for as long as you have them. Best luck!Laura
You were right. I should have stated it as 0.5 mls. rather than 5. I have a purple top bottle that contains 360 mgs. or 3 mls. as stated on the bottle. I did apply it behind the neck (not as easy on a raccoon as on a cat). Thanks for the clarification and thanks again for your help. I will request you next time (and there will be a next time) I need veterinary advice. Hopefully it will be a more domesticated animal next time.
Thank you for the additional accept and for your kind words. I have fostered opossums (love them!!) but never a raccoon. I do make a poor rehab person- I end up handling them too much and keep them in the house. I think you are very kind. I know even our local veterinary teaching hospital refuses to see raccoons because of the rabies risk, but I think a feral cat poses considerable risk also - yet they are still treated. Heck, we had a rabid cow here not that long ago...Thanks again and best luck with these guys. I hope their hair loss improves before its time for their release.Laura