Skip to comments.Mystery of fatal raccoon disease solved
Posted on 01/22/2013 10:21:49 PM PST by neverdem
As someone who cares for about 100 raccoons a year, Melanie Piazza knows that a listless, placid raccoon is not a healthy one.
"A lot of the calls were, 'There's a raccoon sitting on my porch and he hasn't moved all day, and I open the door and he doesn't move,' and that's not normal," said Piazza, the director of animal care at WildCare, a wildlife refuge in San Rafael and one of several Bay Area care centers baffled in recent years by a rise in strange raccoon behavior.
The centers would occasionally collect raccoons like this and try to rehabilitate them, but their condition would only worsen and the animals would eventually die. Their symptoms were unlike those of any disease the center's staff had seen before.
"After some time in care, a lot of them would lose control of the back end of their body," Piazza said. "They would be walking and their hips would fall to the side. Head-trauma-type injuries can cause that, but it doesn't develop over time. And their eyes had a very different appearance. They seemed to be, for lack of a scientific term, bugging out of their heads."
The mystery affliction stumped wildlife refuge centers, which are on the front lines of dealing with wild animals in the Bay Area. But after veterinary scientists at UC Davis spent two years collecting raccoons from Sonoma, Marin and Contra Costa county wildlife centers, they found an answer: Each of the diseased raccoons had a brain tumor as well as a previously unknown virus.
Tumors are already rare in raccoons, and the emergence of a new virus that is highly correlated with the brain tumors is a...
They also all tested positive for a specific virus in the polyoma family, called RacPyV, or raccoon polyomavirus.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
How about treating them with the .22LR antivirus?
Couldn’t get access to the full report, but raccoons carrying brain-cancer virus should be a big story, even if it doesn’t affect humans yet.
Really, I thought, if I opened my door, and a raccoon was just sitting there, he'd get a visit from a .380, and a trip to the garbage can.. I hate raccoons.
Raccoons carry some very troublesome sicknesses for humans, some are airborne, infection can happen just by breathing near their urine/feces. In the woods - or elsewhere - stay far away from their tracks, scat, etc. They often travel on downed trees, folks should be wary of sitting, touching, etc.
Try having six huge pecan trees around your house-talk about a raccoon magnet! I usually dispatch at least 8-10 a year during harvest time. One of my neighbor’s mother is a retired schoolteacher who considers them quite a delicacy and happily takes them off my hands after they meet my Beretta shotgun or the 22. Says she grew up eating them and still loves them cooked with sweet potatoes (shudder)(must be an AA thing, I guess...)
So last November she shows up with one of those live-catch traps-and 2 big boxes of honeybuns. Says her son had been catching lots of them using half a honeybun as bait.
Well, I’ve gone thru 4 boxes of honeybuns now(the rain does a number on ‘em) without catching one single raccoon.
We’re not seeing ANY as roadkill either and I live in the boonies where they are-or were-quite common.
This is very intriguing. While modern journalism leaves a lot to be desired in headlining articles (headline does not match article contents at all) or drawing incorrect conclusions, are they hypothesizing that the virus causes the tumor?
Could have significant applications for our medicine.
>> Ive gone thru 4 boxes of honeybuns now... without catching one single raccoon.
I think you’re supposed to put the honeybuns in the trap for the coons. It doesn’t do any good if *you* eat them.
I know what you mean about the pecans... a couple of coons got lead poisoning a week ago, when I caught ‘em in a pecan tree at 3AM throwing stuff down onto our metal roof. You wouldn’t believe the racket.
They don’t normally bug me, I just don’t want them up by the house. Go play somewhere else.
>> Each of the diseased raccoons had a brain tumor
I’m not surprised; dxmn coons always have that cell phone glued to their ear.
I live next to heavily wooded parkland and I only enter it in the winter when the leaves are gone at which point it is easy to navigate through.
Its infested with deer ticks/Lyme desease during the warm months.
Agreed. What are the chances this is a one-of-a-kind, entirely fluke, virus? It’s further study could be helpful—but itself problematic.
I remember one such outbreak back in the early 1990's. I was golfing at a metro park and saw maybe 5 or 6 raccoons that day, just wandering around listlessly......
My dad was in charged of the park rangers and he said they had been finding them wandering along side the roads and they would shoot them.
Here in Wisconsin we have our own kind of magnets for dispatching raccoons. They're called public highways. I don't know what the annual toll of crushed raccoons amounts to, but it must be 100,000 or so from the carcasses of dead raccoons I see every time I drive on a highway near a wooded area. And there's lots of those kinds of areas where I live. I've seen what looks like whole raccoon families dead from motor vehicles.
Have you seen this method (Pepsi & fly bait) of killing raccoons? It sounds extreme and successful.
We hate the ‘coons by our house and would love to find a way to off them without hurting one feral cat who depends on us for food. We’ve thought about this Pepsi concoction but aren’t positive it wouldn’t hurt the cat, too — even though it says cats won’t go near it.
> How about treating them with the .22LR antivirus?
I’ve got several hundred “inoculations” sitting on my shelf...lol
That’ll kill anything that drinks it - coons, dogs, cats, squirrels, fox, birds, deer, kids, etc.
Not saying that they will all drink it, just saying they’ll die if they do.
A raccoon is a walking disease bomb, and one hell of a fierce animal if cornered. Having said that, they DO make interesting table fare. Skin and clean well. Wear rubber gloves. Boil whole carcass for a while in a BIG pot with bay leaves and pepper. Skim frequently. Thenm, roast slowly, stuffed with a large sweet onion, on a bed of sweet potatoes, glaze and season to taste.
Invite Democrats over for dinner.
Excuse yourself and head for your favorite French restaurant.
Do this frequently, tan the winter hides. Make a raccoon coat.
It works well. It is a simple solution to prevent most of these animals from partaking. The following will not: cats, squirrels, birds, deer. Since fox are close to dogs, and dogs eat dam near anything, maybe. But you can reduce the collateral damage by only using it overnight and in a closed-in area that only coons can access, such as elevated places, e.g., tree stand, crate with hole, etc., and then put it away during the day. You will not need to use it daily (er, nightly), as after a few days, the traffic and the word seems to get around.
Great tip! Just reading the MSDS at your link makes me wonder: Is there anything this effective for libtards?
Try a half inch slice of corn on the cob with a string tied to it so that the corn is suspended inside the cage near the back. Tie the other end to the door trip lever.
Dogs and cats are not interested in the corn. Often the coon will not step on the treadle but will yank the corn.
Well, Ive gone thru 4 boxes of honeybuns now(the rain does a number on em) without catching one single raccoon.
Hint: You’re supposed to put the honeybuns in the trap.
Actually, I can’t stand the damn things and I utterly despise Hostess Twinkies! I’m much more of a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll fancier... ;)
Hmmm, sounds good, I may have to try that. But have you priced fresh corn lately? It’s not exactly the best time of year to buy it. My better half and I were at Wallyworld yesterday-$2.21 for four scrawny little ears of not-so-fresh yellow corn! You think the frozen stuff would work...?
I caught 3 last year with fresh apple quarters but that didn’t work at all this year. My cousin owns 50 acres of woods with a creek across the road from me and says he’s not even seeing any signs of raccoon activity along the banks like he used to.
I’m beginning to think that virus has spread a lot farther than known and has hit them really hard around here.
“Is there anything this effective for libtards?”
An exorcism maybe?