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Dr. Owen
Dr. Owen, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 55754
Experience:  Board Certified Physician and US Medical School Graduate
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I have been scratched several times by a baby raccoon that

Resolved Question:

I have been scratched several times by a baby raccoon that I'm caring for. Can I get rabies this way. The raccoon is healthy looking and eats very well.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Owen replied 5 years ago.
Dr. Owen :

Hello, and I am pleased to help, use of my answers are for educational purposes only.

Dr. Owen :

has the racoon ever been vaccinated?

Customer:

No Its only 6 -7 weeks old

Dr. Owen :

okay - and the raccoon has not been exposed to other animals?

Customer:

Just its mother and other baby raccoons. Mother was killed

Dr. Owen :

okay - well I would recommend getting the raccoon evaluated by a vet, and then you should be evaluated for rabies.

Dr. Owen :

You might need the rabies vaccination series, but that is a big IF, as you are UNLIKELY to need it.

Dr. Owen :

The scratch should be evaluated for any infection and cleaned well.

Dr. Owen :

I Hope this helps

Customer:

they are just surface scraches.

Dr. Owen :

Well that is why I said this is a big IF - and very Unlikely you have anything to be concerned about

Dr. Owen :

but, you should keep the scratches cleaned out at least with soap and water.

Customer:

I think the only way they can tell if the raccoon is infected is to kill it and send its head in for testing. Is that correct

Dr. Owen :

No, observation actually

Dr. Owen :

is another way

Dr. Owen :

it does not need to be killed

Dr. Owen :

but based on the fact this is a 'pet' it is unlikely to have rabies

Customer:

Could it have rabies and not show any signs of being infected

Customer:

How long will I need to watch it to make sure its alright.

Dr. Owen :

Well that would be unlikely to have rabies

Dr. Owen :

Usually a few months - sometimes up to 6 months

Customer:

It would take that long for it to show up in the raccoon?

Dr. Owen :

It can take that long - but given what you have said about the raccoon, unlikely it has rabies

Customer:

Ok thank you.

Dr. Owen :

You are welcome

Dr. Owen :

Please click on ACCEPT, thank you

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