Papillomatosis in a raccoon (Procyon lotor)


  • Alexandra Sanz Atlasvet, Washington, DC, USA
  • Erica Miller Wildlife Futures Program, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA, USA
  • Nikki Harley Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
  • Laura Coffee Zoetis, Inc., Annapolis, MD, USA



Procyon lotor, raccooon, papilloma virus, papillomatosis


Papillomaviruses are species-specific double-stranded DNA viruses with at least 50 species of mammals. Although well-studied in humans, papillomaviruses in the raccoon (Procyon lotor) are not well characterized, and few cases have been published. Therefore, when the disease is encountered in a rehabilitation center, definitive diagnosis and treatment in the raccoon can be unclear. This case study outlines the characteristic gross and histologic lesions of an affected individual to facilitate identification and treatment of this disease in the future. In the case of this juvenile raccoon, ulcerated exophytic lesions on the bridge of its nose and right forelimb digit were seen grossly, with the presence of koilocytes and hyperkeratosis observed histologically. These findings are consistent with other documented cases of papillomavirus in raccoons and canines. Affected raccoons do not require extensive treatment, as raccoon papillomatosis is considered self-limiting.


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Author Biographies

Alexandra Sanz, Atlasvet, Washington, DC, USA

Alexandra Sanz is a veterinarian with AtlasVet in Washington, DC. She handled this case while a veterinary student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.


Erica Miller, Wildlife Futures Program, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA, USA

Erica Miller is the Field Operations Manager with the Wildlife Futures Program and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Wildlife Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She volunteers at Mercer County Wildlife Center.

Nikki Harley, Royal Veterinary College, London, UK

Nikki Harley is a second-year veterinary student at the Royal Veterinary College and has been a summer intern and seasonal employee at Mercer County Wildlife Center for six years.

Laura Coffee, Zoetis, Inc., Annapolis, MD, USA

Laura Coffee is a Surgical Pathologist with Zoetis, Inc., Annapolis, MD. She read the histopathology on this case when she was with Antech Diagnostics.


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How to Cite

Sanz, A., Miller, E., Harley, N. ., & Coffee, L. (2022). Papillomatosis in a raccoon (Procyon lotor). Wildlife Rehabilitation Bulletin, 40(1), 22–26.



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