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"Hi! My Dad had a half grown raccoon come into his garage and lie down on a towel and go to sleep. Having heard all the scare tactics of the conservationists, he assumed it was ill, most likely with rabies. I live next door and have an animal sanctuary. So, when Dad said he was going to have my son put the coon down, I went to see if I thought it was sick. It didn't look sick. No mucous, no runny eyes, just very very thin. I called the rehabbers closest, which is 400 miles away here and they said it probably had distemper. And distemper is ALWAYS fatal. I know better. As a kid the neighbors had a dog that had lived through it. I had a baby squirrel that had it, became totally paralyzed, diagnosed by the vet, that lived and became as healthy as any squirrel you will ever see. Twice as onery probably. So, I made my youngest son get the coon and put it in the carrier and take it to our barn. He and I are both immune to rabies. I had shots before he was born and he had shots after a dog bite before anyone informed us he was already immune. Anyway, the coon goes into the barn. Gets goats milk, eggs, antibiotics, etc. He did have a couple of pretty good seizures that I saw and some partial paralysis in his hind quarters. He has been here about 8 days and is now exploring the loft and looking out at the horses. He nuzzles the kittens, much to their annoyance. I truly feel this raccoon was someones pet who either got away or was released. He may have been showing signs of illness before he was released. The game warden could have been breathing down their neck, who knows? Anyway, my caution is, animals can recover from distemper with the proper care if caught soon enough and be very careful releasing wildlife as I am feeling this little guy suffered some consequences. It is possible that it is just young, sick and smart enough to know I am taking care of it during its illness. I am not very threatening. And fortunately for this poor baby, I don't believe everything I hear. I am sure he will leave on his own at some point, but he is welcome to stay as long as he likes. He has taken up residence in the feed box right now and definately begins looking when he hears me come into the barn. I noticed also that it appears as though the tip of his tail is gone. We have petted him a little but try not to touch him too much. He really doesn't seem to mind being touched lightly, but he has been ill so maybe being touched by stinky humans was just something else to endure. I cannot believe that anyone would hurt these totally cute little creatures. "

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