Rabid skunk found in Monument yard

MONUMENT, Colo. — A skunk in Monument has tested positive for rabies, according to El Paso County Public Health.

The skunk was found in the yard of a home west of Interstate 25 in Monument on Wednesday. It was removed by the humane society the same day, and tested positive for rabies on Monday, according to health officials.

Health officials said the skunk came into contact with three dogs, all of which were previously vaccinated for rabies. The dogs received booster shots and are undergoing observation. There are no known human exposures.

Health officials said there have been three rabid bats and four rabid skunks found in El Paso County this year. This is the first rabid skunk found west of Interstate 25 since 2013.

Rabies is fatal in humans if not treated. It can be spread from a wild animal to a person or pet by a bite or scratch, even if very small or barely noticeable. Rabies also can be spread when saliva from an infected animal gets into open wounds or cuts, or enters through membranes of the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The health department recommends the following precautions to prevent rabies:

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies by using a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots need to be boosted, so check your pet’s records or talk to your veterinarian.
  • When walking or hiking with your dog, protect them and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
  • Keep cats and other pets inside at night to reduce the risk of exposure to other domestic animals and wildlife. Keep dogs within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on leash) during the day while outside.
  • Contact your veterinarian promptly if you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal.
  • Do not touch or feed wild animals. Wild animals like skunks and foxes adapt to residential environments if food is available – please don’t leave pet food outdoors.
  • If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (719) 473-1741.
  •  If you encounter a lost or stray dog or cat, contact the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region for options (719) 473-1741.
  • Contact an animal-control specialist for assistance with “bat-proofing” your home.

How to recognize sick wildlife:

  • Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans.
  • Sick animals often do not run away when spotted by people.
  • Wildlife suffering from rabies will often act aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
  • However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking.
  • Report sick or diseased animals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at (719) 227-5200.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s