Brain Tumors Found in Sick Raccoons

Jan 17, 2013

Sick raccoons are nothing new in northern California, where distemper is fairly common among them. But some don’t fit that pattern for raccoon deaths, and new laboratory studies have found out why.

Dr. Patricia Pesavento, left, and co-researcher Florante Dela Cruz look at gels of the raccoon polyomavirus at UC Davis.
Credit UC Davis/Photo used with permission

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Sometimes, researchers have an idea of what they will find when they begin their investigations. This was not such a case, says Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. In fact, their findings surprised everyone involved.