Living in a rural area definitely has its perks, but when you wake up to various kinds of wildlife in your yard, you might think about moving back to the city. While some wild animals are dangerous, most of them are only in your yard looking for food. If you have a skunk on your property, you may be worried not only about getting bitten, you may worry about being sprayed or contracting rabies. Learn more about skunks and how to identify whether or not skunks have rabies.

Skunks And Rabies

Many people are under the impression that all skunks carry rabies. However, skunks are like any other mammal that can get rabies. Skunks must be bitten by a rabid animal in order to get rabies and to pass the virus on to humans. If a skunk is not showing visible symptoms of rabies, he or she cannot give it to you or your pets. In some cases, rabies takes up to 6 months to show symptoms. A skunk may be rabid if

  • The skunk shows no fear of people

  • There are signs of aggression in the skunk

  • The skunk is foaming at the mouth.

Bear in mind that if a skunk is simply walking around your lawn as though he is lost and acts disoriented, he or she could be suffering from a gentler (dumb) form of rabies. Furious rabies is the form of the disease that causes aggression and foaming at the mouth. A skunk that is not showing symptoms of rabies, however, can still spray you. If you find a skunk in your yard, your best bet is to not approach it, but to call wildlife animal control experts to come and remove it.

Your Dog Can Get Sick From Skunk Spray

While the danger of your dog getting rabies from a skunk is real, the chances of him or her suffering from severe anemia can be even greater. Some dogs, while it is rare, can suffer anemia from the skunk spray getting into their eyes and making its ways into the bloodstream. Skunk spray contains chemicals that can harm the hemoglobin in some dogs' blood, creating a condition called Heinz-body anemia. If your dog has been sprayed by a skunk and shows signs of weakness, breathing difficulties and vomiting, a visit to your vet right away is a good idea.

Making sure all your pets are vaccinated is important, especially if you live in a rural area that poses a greater risk of visiting wildlife. If you find a skunk or any other wild animal on your property, contacting a wildlife removal service like Animal Control Specialists Inc to remove it as soon as possible is best.