World Rabies Day

Courtesy of For Fox Sake Wildlife

Today is World Rabies Day, a day to raise awareness about the disease and the “vectors” that carry it like skunks, foxes, raccoons, and bats. While the vast majority of wild critters don’t have the virus, it’s still a real and present risk to the welfare of our native wildlife and to the safety of humans and livestock.

About 50% of calls received by animal rehabilitators involve animals with central nervous system infections. These groups work with local animal control officers and the USDA to ensure that these animals are tested for rabies. (Most of these cases turn out to be canine distemper, another fatal and painful viral infection.)

Please have all of your pets vaccinated against rabies and get regular booster vaccines. Do not handle wildlife or take animals from the wild as pets. While the risk of rabies is relatively low, the virus is out there. Animals with rabies don’t always exhibit the drooling, staggering, or aggressive behavior that we would normally recognize as symptoms of rabies. Sometimes they will act overly affectionate.

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2 thoughts on “World Rabies Day

    • I saw a rabid raccoon on a backroad a couple of years back. It was in the middle of the road staggering and acting very peculiar. A man coming the other way in a truck stopped and got out his rifle (Rockbridge County VA is rural with lots of hunters). He told me to drive on and he would dispatch it and bury the carcass. Driving away, I head the gunshot. Made me sad, but I was glad it’s suffering was over.

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