Apr 26, 2010 4:05 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rabid fox caught in El Paso County

A fox captured in El Paso County last Friday has tested positive for rabies.

Residents of the Woodmoor North neighborhood reported that the animal was acting strangely and having trouble walking. The Division of Wildlife captured the fox and euthanized it.

This is the fourth rabid mammal captured in El Paso County so far this year.

Rabies is spread primarily through the bite of rabid mammals and is almost always fatal. "This fox is likely to have been infected by a rabid skunk, so we continue to see rabies infection spillover into different mammal species in our county. We urge you to keep your pets up to date with rabies vaccinations and to take all the necessary rabies prevention measures to protect your family," Kandi Buckland, executive director of the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment said.

The health department recommends the following steps to prevent rabies:· 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 can be vaccinated for rabies as early as 4 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 unknown to you, contact your physician and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region without delay.

· 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 the Division of Wildlife to report the location.

· To remove a dead skunk on your property, do not touch the animal. Remove the carcass with a shovel or other tool, and double bag it for the trash.

· Take steps to bat proof your home.



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