The first rabid skunk in Colorado for the year 2011 has been found in Pueblo.
Public Health Department officials announced Friday that a rabid skunk was found in the area of Kingston Street, a city neighborhood on the East Side of Pueblo.
“Skunks, that may have rabies, can be found near houses and interacting with people and pets. It is important pet owners protect their pets from rabies with a rabies vaccine. Look at your pet’s tag or medical papers and make sure they have their current rabies vaccine,” stated Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods.
If you see a skunk during daylight hours acting abnormally, such as stumbling or acting overly aggressive, make sure you keep children and pets away from the animal and call Pueblo Animal Services (719) 544-3005 to report the location. Skunks that were found to have rabies in Pueblo County in 2010 were found during the day and were acting abnormally.
The health department is reminding everyone that if pets are not vaccinated against rabies, they could become very sick or die if they're bitten by a rabid animal.
After a bite or other high risk exposure to a rabid animal, the person needs to start post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) immediately to prevent almost certain death from rabies. The PEP includes immune globulin and the vaccine series.
Here are some key rabies prevention steps from the Pueblo City-County Health Department:
• Ensure that dogs, cats and ferrets are vaccinated properly against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Also, discuss vaccinating horses and other livestock with your veterinarian.
• Don’t feed wild animals or allow your pets around them. Teach children to stay away from wild mammals. Do not keep pet food outside as that may attract wild animals.
• Protect all pets, particularly animals too young to be vaccinated, from contact with wild animals. Puppies and kittens should be vaccinated for rabies as early as 3 months old.
• Contact your veterinarian if your dog or cat is bitten or scratched by wild animals, such as skunks, bats, foxes or raccoons.
• If you or a family member has been bitten by a wild animal or a domestic animal, contact your physician and Pueblo Animal Services at 719-544-3005 without delay.
For more information, click on the link below.