Protecting Wild Things and Wild Places
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General Information About Wildlife Dieases
If You Are Bitten By A Wild Animal
There are many diseases which humans can catch from furbearers. The information below gives you a brief description of some of these diseases.
1. If it is a wild animal, attempt to kill the animal without damage to the skull.
2. If the animal is domestic, insist that the offending animal be penned and observed for at least 10 days to see if it gets sick or dies.
3. Cleanse the wound as quickly as possible with soap and water.
4. Keep the dead animal cool, but do NOT freeze it.
5. Always call your Doctor!
He or she will make a decision as to what treatment and/or shots may be necessary based on the type of animal; whether or not the animal escaped; whether or not the animal might have felt provoked; the type and location of the bite; and whether rabies is likely in the area. You may be required to deliver the animal carcass to a veterinarian for processing and shipping to a laboratory for analysis.
Baylisascaris, an intestinal raccoon roundworm, can infect a variety of other animals, including humans. The worms develop to maturity in the raccoon intestine, where they produce millions of eggs that are passed in the feces. Released eggs take 2-4 weeks to become infective to other animals and humans. The eggs are resistant to most environmental conditions and with adequate moisture, can survive for years.
People become infected when they accidentally ingest infective eggs in soil, water, or on objects that have been contaminated with raccoon feces.
When humans ingest these eggs, they hatch into larvae in the person's intestine and travel throughout the body, affecting the organs and muscles.
Anyone who is exposed to environments where raccoons live is potentially at risk. Young children or developmentally disabled persons are at highest risk for infection when they spend time outdoors and may put contaminated fingers, soil, or objects into their mouths. Hunters, trappers, taxidermists, and wildlife handlers may also be at increased risk if they have contact with raccoons or raccoon habitats.
Infected raccoons have been found throughout the United States, mainly in the Midwest, Northeast, middle Atlantic, and West coast. Infection rarely causes symptoms in raccoons. Predator animals, including dogs, may also become infected by eating a smaller animal that has been infected with Baylisascaris.
Click Here for more information about Raccoon Roundworm.
Loss of coordination
Lack of attention to people and surroundings
Loss of muscle control
Giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis) is a diarrheal illness caused by a one-celled, microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia). Once an animal or person has been infected with Giardia intestinalis, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in the stool. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time.
During the past 2 decades, Giardiainfection has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (found in both drinking and recreational water) in humans in the United States . Giardia are found worldwide and within every region of the United States.
The Giardia parasite lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. Millions of germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Giardia is found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite. Click Here for more information about Beaver Fever.
Beaver Fever (Giardiasis)
Greasy stools that tend to float
Stomach or abdominal cramps
Upset stomach or nausea/vomiting
Dehydration (loss of fluids)
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. It is caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. In humans it causes a wide range of symptoms, and some infected persons may have no symptoms at all. Symptoms of leptospirosis include high fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting, and may include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or a rash. If the disease is not treated, the patient could develop kidney damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord), liver failure, and respiratory distress. In rare cases death occurs.
Many of these symptoms can be mistaken for other diseases. Leptospirosis is confirmed by laboratory testing of a blood or urine sample. Outbreaks of leptospirosis are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals. Many different kinds of animals carry the bacterium; they may become sick but sometimes have no symptoms. Leptospira organisms have been found in cattle, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and wild animals. Humans become infected through contact with water, food, or soil containing urine from these infected animals. This may happen by swallowing contaminated food or water or through skin contact, especially with mucosal surfaces, such as the eyes or nose, or with broken skin. The disease is not known to be spread from person to person.
Click Here for more information about Leptospirosis.
Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus. It may take several weeks or even a few years for people to show symptoms after getting infected with rabies, but usually people start to show signs of the disease 1 to 3 months after the virus infects them. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs, such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive. This is why it is very important to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.
Many kinds of animal can pass rabies to people. Wild animals are much more likely to carry rabies, especially raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes. However, dogs, cats, cattle (cows), or any warm-blooded animal can pass rabies to people. People usually get rabies from the bite of an infected animal. Many animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses are vaccinated against rabies, but you should always wash any bite thoroughly and check with your health care provider about what to do if any animal bites you.
Click Here for more information about Rabies.
Similar to flu
Don't delay calling the doctor!
Tick Borne Illnesses
Ticks may transmit several different diseases to humans, including Lyme Disease, Southern Tick-Associated Rash, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and more.
Lyme disease is spread by the tiny deer tick. Ticks feed on blood, and infected ticks transmit the disease as they feed. Although the deer tick prefers to feed on wild animals, especially mice, birds, opossum, raccoon, and deer, they will also feed on dogs, cats, livestock, and humans. When people visit or live near deer tick habitats, they run a high risk of contracting Lyme disease. For your own safety, you should become familiar with tick habits and habitats, and you should learn how to prevent tick bites.
Click Here for more information about Tick Borne Illness.
Tick Born Illness
Aches and pains