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Raccoons are unlikely to bite, but they’re the most frequently reported rabid wild animal. Consider that a reminder to keep pets’ rabies vaccinations current. Rabies is slightly on the rise in cats, according to the The Centers for Disease Control; in 2010, 1 percent of cats tested for rabies were found positive. Rabies cases reported in cats routinely number three to four times higher than in cattle or dogs, CDC says.

Location of rabid raccoons: Mainly the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida.

What to do: Even pets with current vaccinations must see a veterinarian immediately if bitten by a rabid animal. The wound needs to be treated to prevent likely infection, Dr. Russak says. A pet can get revaccinated and be observed for about 45 days to make sure he has completely recovered from the bite, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

(Credit: Bigstockphoto)
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