POSTED: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 2:41pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 25, 2014 - 2:43pm
Mt. Pleasant, Texas — Mount Pleasant Animal Services is reporting 4 confirmed cases of rabies in skunks in Titus County so far this year. One case was confirmed in March and 3 cases have been confirmed in April. The locations of the skunks when recovered were found in the areas of:
• CR 3245 (Titus County)
• CR 1468 (Titus County)
• 1500 Block Mark Dr. (Mount Pleasant)
• W. 13st (Mount Pleasant)
The Texas Department of State Health Services out of Tyler confirmed the 4 cases of rabies in the skunks.
Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects the brain and nervous system. People and pets can get rabies from the bite or scratch of a rabid animal. A person or animal can also be infected by getting a rabid animal’s saliva in your eyes, nose, mouth, or an open wound.
From their trademark black and white coat to their signature scent, skunks are easily recognized. You may fear that if you see a skunk in your yard, you and your pets could be at risk of contracting rabies. While skunks are one of the most common carriers of rabies you’ll find in your yard, only a rabid skunk poses a danger.
While it’s often said that skunks are “carriers” of rabies, they can only transmit the virus to another animal or person when they are rabid, meaning the virus is no longer dormant and symptoms are present. Skunks cannot spread rabies through urine, feces or even via their unpleasant spray, even if the skunk is rabid.
People should always avoid contact with wild animals. Do not try to hand-feed them and do not try to keep wild animals as pets. Be sure not to touch sick, injured, or dead animals. Injured animals may be scared and in pain. Although you are trying to help them, they may bite you.
Rabies vaccination is the best way to prevent the transmission of rabies from the wild animal population to our domestic dogs and cats. State law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated by 4 months of age and on a 1 year or 3 year basis thereafter depending on the type of vaccine used. All dogs and cats must receive a second rabies vaccination within one year of receiving their first vaccination, regardless of the type of vaccine used or the age at which the animal was initially vaccinated. Mount Pleasant City Ordinance requires all cats and dogs within the city limits be vaccinated against rabies every 12 months. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Although not required by law, it is recommended that livestock (especially those that have frequent contact with humans), domestic ferrets, and wolf-dog hybrids be vaccinated against rabies.
Failing to vaccinate your pets against rabies can result in a criminal fine. If you have been injured by a wild animal you should seek medical treatment or advice from a physician. If you have a pet that has been injured by a wild animal you should take the pet to a veterinarian for evaluation and treatment. Mount Pleasant Animal Services can be contacted if you have questions or concerns about wild animals. Animal Services can be contacted by calling 903-575-4174 or check out Mount Pleasant Animal Services Website for more information about vaccinations and shelter services at www.mpcity.net/animalservices.