If you’re unfamiliar with coyotes, they are wild canids native to North America. They are often called “prairie wolves” or “brush wolves.” Coyotes typically weigh between 20-45 pounds and can grow up to be about 3 feet long (not including their tail).
The coyote population shows a resemblance to German shepherds. But that’s the end- they are not domestic animals, and they’re distinct from dogs because of several characteristics. Even though they may look cute, coyotes can be dangerous animals, especially sick ones.
Coyotes Diseases that can be transmitted to humans
As coyotes wander through the deepest forests and the most expansive plains, they interact with thousands of other animals. And with the varying environment and ecosystem, they immersed themselves in, it’s no wonder how they’d be able to acquire diseases and bacterial infections.
When these diseases get into them in the form of viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms, they might be able to spread these diseases to their species. Worse, this creates transmission and brings a risk to human health.
While there’s an array of coyote diseases, not all are transmissible to humans (Zoonotic diseases). Some only affect other species and other animals. Here are the most common illnesses that coyotes transmit to humans:
Rabies is a severe disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord. It’s caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is transmitted through coyote bites, scratches, or mucus membrane exposure.
A sick coyote or animals infected with rabies usually develop unusual behavior. They might be more aggressive than usual. Some might experience paralysis, increased saliva and foam around the mouth, and trouble swallowing.
Rabies is a fatal disease for both humans and animals. If you think you’ve been bitten or scratched by a coyote with rabies, it’s important to see a doctor immediately and get a series of shots to prevent the disease from developing.
Canine heartworm is a dangerous parasite that can infect both dogs and coyotes. These heartworms are found in the heart and lungs of the animal and are spread through mosquito bites.
When a mosquito carrying the heartworm larvae bites an animal, the larvae enter the bloodstream and eventually make their way to the heart and lungs. As the heartworms grow, they clog up the arteries leading to the heart.
There can be as many as 300 worms when these worms start to grow and evade a canine’s heart organ.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, and in rare cases, the bacteria Borrelia mayonii. This bacteria can be transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected tick. Lyme disease can cause many symptoms, including fever, headache, fatigue, and joint pain.
If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious health problems, including Lyme carditis (a condition that affects the heart), Lyme arthritis (a condition that causes joint pain and swelling), and Lyme meningitis (an infection that affects the brain and spinal cord).
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can infect both animals and humans. The bacteria that cause this disease are found in the urine of infected animals and can be spread through contact with contaminated water or soil.
Mange is a skin disease caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. The cause of this disease is the burrowing of Sarcoptes scabiei canis. These mites can cause intense itching and hair loss.
A specific type of mange mite disease is North America’s biggest killer of red foxes and coyotes. This is called the Sarcoptic mange. It is very contagious and can easily be transmitted to humans and animals.
In the same way, there are diseases you can get from fleas and ticks.
Hepatitis is a general term for a group of viral diseases that affect the liver. These diseases can be transmitted through contact with contaminated blood or body fluids.
There are different types of hepatitis, but the most common type is hepatitis A. This disease is usually spread through contact with contaminated food or water. Most infections, though, are asymptomatic and usually not fatal.
Echinococcus multilocularis is a parasitic worm that can cause a disease called alveolar echinococcosis. This disease is found in wild and domestic dogs, foxes, and coyotes. The parasite is transmitted to humans through contaminated soil or dog feces.
Alveolar echinococcosis is a severe disease that can be fatal if left untreated. The parasite grows in the liver, causing it to become enlarged. This can lead to liver failure and death.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that can affect both animals and humans. It is transmitted through contact with contaminated soil or animal fur. The fungus that causes this disease is called Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Ringworm can cause a rash on the skin that is often itchy and red. If left untreated, ringworm can spread to other body parts and cause serious health problems.
Canine Distemper that your pets can get
Canine distemper is a contagious disease affecting dogs, coyotes, foxes, and other canine family members. The virus that causes this disease is spread through contact with contaminated saliva, urine, or feces.
An infected animal can exhibit many symptoms, including fever, runny nose, watery eyes, cough, diarrhea, vomiting, and seizures. This disease can be fatal if not treated promptly.
This is a severe disease that can be deadly to your pet. Please contact your veterinarian immediately if you think your pet may have this disease. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best chance of recovery.
And again, not to repeat but to emphasize and reiterate, canine distemper is highly contagious. They can easily be transmitted to the other pets in your house. So, be sure to separate them in a farther space or location on your property. Don’t let your other pets near your infected pet.
Canine Heartworm Symptoms
Symptoms of this disease include mild and persistent coughing, exercise intolerance, decreased appetite, fatigue after moderate activity, and weight loss. In severe cases, a heartworm can cause heart failure and death. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best chance of recovery.
Animal and human exposure to contaminated water or soil can get them leptospirosis. The infection can cause fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, leptospirosis can lead to kidney failure, meningitis, and death.
Tapeworm (E. multil) Symptoms
E. multilocularis is a common tapeworm that can infect humans and animals. This parasite is transmitted through contact with contaminated soil or animal feces. Symptoms of E. multilocularis infection include weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. If untreated, E. multilocularis can cause severe health problems and even death.
When you catch hepatitis, you may have no symptoms. Those that do have symptoms exhibit 2-6 weeks after exposure. They can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stool, and jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes).
Hepatitis A is usually a self-limiting disease that will go away independently. However, it can be severe and even fatal in some cases. If you think you have hepatitis A, please see a doctor as soon as possible.
The rabies virus is the most common zoonotic disease in the United States. It is transmitted through an infected animal’s saliva.
Rabies can cause fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, loss of appetite, and anxiety. Patients may experience hallucinations, paralysis, and death as the disease progresses.
If so happens that you get scratched or bitten by a coyote or any other animal, wash it immediately with soap. Then, approach a physician or clinic to have you checked up.
Aside from the long and tiring list above, other viruses, bacteria, parasites, and diseases can be home to coyotes. This includes toxoplasmosis, campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, giardiasis, typhus, parvovirus, rotavirus, coronavirus, brucellosis, adenovirus, parain, tularemia, roundworm, hookworm, and more frighteningly- cause a plague.
How to prevent catching diseases from Coyote?
The first and best way to prevent acquiring diseases from coyotes is to avoid contact. You can do a few coyote-proofing methods to stop attracting them and prevent any potential diseases they may carry.
- Keep your garbage in tightly sealed containers and put it out the morning of garbage day.
- Feed your pets indoors.
- Keep pet food and water dishes inside.
- Trim bushes around your house so coyotes can’t hide near your windows.
- Make sure your fences are in good repair and at least 6 feet tall.
- Don’t leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- If you see a coyote, make loud noises and try to scare it away.
Coyotes are wild animals and can be dangerous. It is vital to take precautions to avoid attracting them to your property and to prevent getting bitten or scratched, which could lead to serious health problems.
Need Help With Coyote Problem? Call Us Today!
If you live in an area with coyotes and are having problems with them, please call AAAC Wildlife Removal today. We can help you remove coyotes from your property safely and effectively. Give us a call today to learn more!
Coyotes are canines that are native to North America. These canines live in various habitats, such as forests, deserts, and urban and suburban areas. So, with this in mind, there are high chances they may have picked up diseases or microorganisms throughout the journey.
Among the dangerous zoonotic diseases are Rabies, Canine Heartworm, Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis, Mange Mite Hepatitis, Echinococcus multilocularis, and Ringworm. However, other diseases carried, such as Canine distemper, only spread from one animal to another.
While coyotes are generally not aggressive towards humans, they can be dangerous if they feel threatened or cornered. It is essential to avoid contact with coyotes and prevent attracting them to your property for disease control. To learn more about coyote predators and the natural ecosystem balance, click here: diseases from coyotes.
Contact us if you have concerns about coyotes or any other wildlife issues on your property. Our team is equipped to handle wildlife situations professionally and safely.