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Cher
Cher, Pet Caregiver 40+yrs
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 20956
Experience:  Specialist in Pet Healthcare and Behavior
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Baby raccoon

Customer Question

I recently found a baby raccoon. I believe he is a little over 4 weeks old. I have been feeding him KMR but have noticed he had been having difficulty pooping. After some research I found this is a common problem. So I started mixing some sweet potato baby food with his formula plus adding more water to it. About 12 hrs after I first started giving him the sweet potato he had a very large poop and I noticed a small trace of blood in it. Could this of been caused by the constipation?

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Cher replied 3 years ago.

Hello, Katelyn and welcome!

My name is XXXXX XXXXX it will be my pleasure to help you today.

I'm glad you started adding the baby food sweet potato in with the KMR and also adding water to the formula and this helped him produce a big b.m. within 12 hours. Make sure the baby food sweet potato doesn't contain any onion product or seasoning/preservatives of any kind. The small trace of blood you saw could have been due to the constipation and very large poop, which may have burst some capillaries as he squeezed it out, as you suspected. However, sometimes, blood in the stool may also indicate intestinal parasites. Continue with the sweet potato and watering down the formula to avoid this problem in the future and continue to stimulate him to eliminate after feedings by vigorously rubbing the genital and anal area with a warm, dampened washcloth or cotton ball. Wear gloves when doing this and handling the raccoon.

So far, you are doing a wonderful job, but It would be best to get this kit to a licensed wildlife rehab center so he can be with other baby raccoons, which is very important for socialization. For the moment, you can give him a small stuffed animal and surround him with soft towels so he feels secure.

There are two things you need to be aware of to safeguard your own health: many raccoons in certain areas of the USA and Canada do carry the rabies virus which is passed from the mother to the kits. Rabies, as you know, is contagious to humans, so be careful when you feed him and stimulate him to defecate, as he could be infected, but not showing any symptoms, yet. Here is more information:
http://www.addl.purdue.edu/newsletters/2003/Summer/rabies.shtml

Another important health issue with raccoon babies which can be transmitted to humans, is a type of roundworm (intestinal parasite) called Baylisascaris. It can cause a lot of damage in the human body and can even be fatal in human infants and children.It is passed through the stool. A large amount (96-100%) of baby raccoons do shed Baylisascaris eggs which cause a big risk to other animals and humans. Here is additional information for you to read, about this parasite:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baylisascaris

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12150_12220-27261--,00.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/baylisascaris/factsht_baylisascaris.htm

This is another good reason for you to try to get him into a certified wildlife rehab center as soon as possible.

I hope all will go well with your baby raccoon!

Best wishes,
Cher

Expert:  Cher replied 3 years ago.
Hi again, Katelyn.

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going with your baby raccoon.

If you need any additional information or have further concerns, please don't hesitate to ask me by clicking on 'Reply to Expert', and I will answer as soon as possible.

I hope you found the information in my answer helpful, and if so, please let me know. Thank you!

I appreciate the opportunity to be of help to you and thank you for entrusting your question to Just Answer!

Best wishes,
Cher