Skunk Tests Positive for Rabies in Pueblo, 2nd this Year

There are more rabid skunks in Pueblo County. The latest was found in the area of Gore Road between 20th & 20th ½ Lane. This is the second skunk to test positive in Pueblo County in 2011.

“It is important for pet owners to 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,” said Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods Public Health Director at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. She added, “Skunks, that may have rabies, can be found near houses and interacting with people and pets.”

It's another reminder that pets and livestock need to be vaccinated because if they are exposed, and are not protected, there is a good chance that they will get rabies infection and die after exposure(such as being bitten by a rabid skunk).

Health officials say infected pets can also bring this fatal disease into the home and be a danger to family or friends.

Skunks out during daytime acting abnormally, stumbling or acting over aggressive, need to be reported to Pueblo Animal Services (719) 544-3005.

Skunks are not the only wild animals that could be infected, so it's best to stay away from most wildlife such as foxes and raccoons because you never know.

The rest of the health department's release about this positive rabies testing is below:

Here are some key rabies prevention steps:

-Ensure that dogs, cats and ferrets are vaccinated properly against rabies by a licensed veterinarian.
-Discuss vaccinating horses and other livestock with your veterinarian. If you believe your animal has been exposed to rabies, or possibly bitten by a rabid animal, immediately contact your veterinarian.
-Do not 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 three 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 immediately.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updates their Web site every Friday with rabies data. You can visit their web site by clicking on the link provided below this story.


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