Sep 24, 2010 1:00 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
A skunk captured on the far-southwestern side of Pueblo has tested positive for rabies. It was found near Northern Ave., west of Pueblo Blvd., according to Sarah Bruestle, Pueblo City-County Health Department.
This is the first skunk to test positive this year in addition to four bats.
"Skunks, that may have rabies, can be found near houses and interacting with people and pets. It is important pet owners 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," stated Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods.
Bruestle says that 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 Pueblo Animal Services (719) 544-3005 to report the location.
"Leaving pet food outside will attract wildlife. Please keep your pet food away and make it inaccessible to wildlife," Dr. Nevin-Woods added.
Here are some key rabies prevention steps:
· 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 should 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, contact your physician and Pueblo Animal Services at 719-544-3005 without delay.