Michigan is home to a diverse array of wildlife, but along with the beauty and wonder they bring, there are also potential dangers lurking. Pet owners in Michigan should be aware of the various wildlife-related diseases that can pose a threat to their furry companions. One such disease is rabies, which is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Michigan has a significant population of rabid bats, and pets that come into contact with these creatures are at risk. Additionally, ticks are prevalent in the state, and they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and ehrlichiosis to both humans and pets. Another concern is the presence of raccoons, which can carry the raccoon roundworm parasite that can infect dogs and cause severe neurological issues. It is crucial for pet owners to stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect their beloved animals from these wildlife-related diseases.

Common Wildlife Related Diseases Pet Owners in Michigan Should Know


Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects both animals and humans. It is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. In Michigan, wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes are known carriers of rabies. It is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of rabies, which include behavioral changes, aggression, excessive drooling, and paralysis. Vaccinating your pets against rabies is not only required by law but also the most effective way to protect them from this dangerous disease.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to both animals and humans. Wildlife such as raccoons, squirrels, and rodents can carry and shed the bacteria in their urine, contaminating water sources. Pets can contract leptospirosis by drinking from or swimming in contaminated water. Symptoms may vary but can include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and jaundice. Vaccination is available to protect pets against leptospirosis, especially if they are exposed to outdoor environments or bodies of water.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Although wildlife such as deer and rodents are known hosts for these ticks, pets can also become infected. Symptoms of Lyme disease in pets may include lameness, joint swelling, loss of appetite, and fever. It is essential for pet owners to regularly check their pets for ticks and use preventive measures such as tick repellents and vaccines.


Giardia is a microscopic parasite that can infect both animals and humans. It is commonly found in contaminated water sources, including streams, lakes, and puddles. Pets can contract giardia by drinking or coming into contact with contaminated water or feces from infected wildlife. Symptoms of giardia in pets may include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration. Regular veterinary check-ups and maintaining good hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of giardia.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and other wildlife species such as raccoons and foxes. It is spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions or urine from infected animals. Symptoms can vary but often include fever, coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and neurological signs. Vaccination is crucial in protecting dogs against this potentially fatal disease.

Preventing Wildlife Related Diseases

While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of wildlife-related diseases, there are steps pet owners can take to minimize the chances of their pets contracting these illnesses. Keeping pets up to date on vaccinations, regularly checking for ticks, avoiding contact with wildlife, and providing clean drinking water are essential preventive measures. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene practices such as proper pet waste disposal and regular handwashing can further reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Contact For Wildlife Control Help

Thank you for taking the time to read about Best Way Animal Removal. We understand how important it is to address any animal-related issues promptly and efficiently. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing safe and humane animal removal services. If you are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (616) 836-4255. We are available 24/7 to help you with any animal removal needs you may have.

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