Sick Raccoon

Four calls in one day about the same raccoon had Dr. Davis & I meeting at Bona Dea Nature Trail in Russellville late yesterday afternoon. We drove on the foot traffic only trail, because the round trip hike in would have been nearly a mile. Carrying our equipment and a sick 10 pound raccoon on a hike that long would have been too challenging.

As we pulled up to Bullfrog Pond, there he was, sitting by a tree and obviously in pain. His face is totally encrusted with scabs and pus on one side, with his movement slow and deliberate. One swift swing of the capture net and we had him grounded. The hard part was moving the now angry sick raccoon to a kennel cab for transport. Dr. Davis donned kevlar lined gloves and placed him in the crate for the trip to the clinic.

At the clinic, we tranquilized our new patient and waited for him to go down. It didn't take long and he was quickly sleeping soundly. Examination revealed a severe injury sustained to the left side of his face, resulting in the loss of his left eye. We're not sure what caused the injury, whether fighting with another coon or with a dog, hit by car (road rash) or even possible squamous cell carcinoma, but he's not in good shape.

Dr. Davis debrided and cleaned the wound and did further examination. There was another wound exuding pus on the scrotal sac. We wondered again if maybe this male was fighting a losing battle for territory with another coon. We gave him some antibiotics and will continue to do so for the next week. After a week has passed, we'll be able to more accurately determine our next steps.

Meanwhile, we're scrambling to house this guy. We don't normally do adult mammals of any kind, so housing an adult raccoon poses us some challenges. If he makes it through this first week with improvement, his future will look better, but his care will likely be long term before he can go back to the wild. We do welcome and appreciate your support for his medical care and housing.

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