North East Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Coalition is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. We are a group of licensed wildlife rehabilitators, and these are the tales of the injured and orphaned animals we care for until they are able to be released back into the wild.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A note on raccoon teeth & some quick updates.

Let me take advantage of the slow times around here for a little lesson on raccoon teeth....and why they are so good at inhaling chicken parts, bones and all, in record time!
Aside from the pit bull like power of their jaws, they have the usual teeth found in other omnivores, such as molars, incisors and canines. A quick peek in your dogs mouth will look similar. One very important difference....take a look at that upper canine. It is not a smooth, round tooth like in a dog or like the bottom canine. Thanks to the lighting and the small amount of tarter buildup, you can see how the top canine has more of a blade-like edge....a very sharp blade-like edge! I like to think of them as a shark/raccoon hybrid! (especially when that particular tooth is buried deep within the flesh of my hand or arm! LOL). That sharp edge makes it an excellent tool for shredding......not your "average" puncture wound where this tooth is involved.
(Thank you were a wonderful model for this.... while you were unconscious and getting your x-rays of course!)
A couple of quick updates. There is a new injured squirrel at the feeders. Looks like something took half his tail off. He's doing great though and it looks better every day. Eventually the tail will heal and the dead part will turn brittle and fall off. It's pretty common and looks worse than it is.
The little emaciated girl is eating regularly out there and I think she's looking better.
As far as the coonies go, Vin has worn out his welcome with the gang. He's harassing the girls (as most young men will...hehe). Love is in the air this time of year for the coonies anyway, and even though he is young, his behavior is still a pain in the ass! Even Tash is fed up with him! He's sporting a new wound on his good rear leg and based on his attitude with Vin, I'm guessing he's the one that put it there. The up side to that is that the new wound forced him to start using the other injured foot more! Self induced physical for me! I'm glad to see him starting to retrain that other foot to work again.
Not having an empty pen to put Vin in, I separated him (with Scrappy to keep him company since he seems to be the only one to tolerate him right now) into the smaller side of the pen. I put up the wire "window" I always put up there to separate it (remember the one they were all smooshed up against when I put the late babies in there?) and the next day it was totally ripped apart and everyone was together again. Got dad working on a stronger one now! It would be so much easier if there wasn't about 3 feet of snow on the ground! Then we could just throw up one of the release pens and move him. Alas, no such luck.


  1. I never knew this about raccoon teeth! I will remember to keep a respectful distance if I encounter one! I haven't seen a squirrel in so long while it was so cold, but I saw one yesterday afternoon in our heat wave (40 degrees :) ) What do you put out for them to eat? We put out cracked corn and some mixed birdseed- I'm hoping that I'm not feeding them something harmful! We also put out some of our stale bread and cereal- and some goes to the chickens :) Your blog is always a wonderful part of my day :)

  2. Thanks Kim! I'm always happy to hear people enjoy the tales! :) I put out sunflower seeds and mixed bird seed. Whatever you put out there, the wild ones will eat what is good for them. I never feed this stuff in the rehab setting.....doesn't have the proper nutritional value for them and they would eat this over the rodent block. But in the wild this is a treat and they find what they need from their natural diet out there so don't worry....they'll pick and choose what they like. Little buggars are good at cleaning out the dog food in the racoon feeders too! :)

  3. Thank you for your comments everyone I so enjoy reading them. I got a question, do raccoons have sore mouths like human babies, I am bottle feeding two baby orphaned raccoons and yes they are being released , I have no desire to keep a wild animal, They seem to bite down on the nipple and they are just now getting teeth, poor little things, what can relief this, chew toy?