Rabies is a deadly viral disease that affects both humans and animals, and it is most commonly spread through the bite of a rabid animal. While domestic dogs remain the primary source of rabies transmission to humans in many parts of the world, wildlife poses a significant threat as well. Animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes are known carriers of the virus and can transmit it to other animals or people if they are bitten. Here’s how to identify and avoid potentially rabid animals.
How to Identify a Potentially Rabid Animal
Identifying potential threats is crucial when it comes to avoiding contact with rabid wildlife. One telltale sign of a rabid animal is unusual behavior. For instance, if you happen to see raccoons, typically nocturnal animals, wandering during daylight hours or displaying aggression without any apparent reason, it’s a red flag. Similarly, bats behaving clumsily or flying erratically may also be showing signs of infection. However, it is crucial not to jump to conclusions based on one piece of evidence alone.
Being vigilant and observing other symptoms that could indicate rabies is equally important. These symptoms include drooling excessively or foaming at the mouth, disorientation, paralysis, seizures, and changes in their vocalization patterns. Additionally, rabid animals may appear unusually fearless or exhibit abnormally dull or glassy eyes.
If you suspect an animal may be infected, it’s best to keep your distance and alert local authorities.
How to Proactively Manage the Risk of Encountering a Rabid Animal
Avoiding potential threats means taking proactive measures to minimize the risk of encountering a rabid animal. You can start by ensuring that your pets are vaccinated against rabies. By doing so, not only are you protecting their health but also reducing the chances of possible transmission from wildlife to your beloved four-legged friends, which could ultimately affect you too.
To further minimize the risks, it’s important to maintain secure garbage bins. Rabid animals often search for food in trash cans, and allowing access to these potential food sources can invite them into your vicinity. Keep lids tightly closed and dispose of trash regularly to avoid attracting wild animals.
Another step you can take is minimizing outdoor food sources. This means avoiding leaving pet food outside overnight and cleaning up spilled birdseed or any other food that may appeal to wild animals. Eliminating these attractants will discourage rabid animals from frequenting your property.
Finally, it’s essential to be mindful of surroundings when spending time outdoors, especially in areas known for wildlife activity or where rabies cases have been reported previously. Stay on designated trails, avoid dense vegetation where animals may be hiding, and keep a safe distance from any suspicious-looking or aggressive animals.
If You Suspect a Rabid Animal on Your Property, Contact Shumaker’s Animal Control
At Shumaker Animal Control, we understand how much of a risk a rabid animal can pose to the health and safety of you and your family. We know how to professionally deal with such threats and can work with you to make sure any threatening animal is safely dealt with. Contact us at (443) 854-8072 to learn more about our services and how we can help. You can also reach us through our convenient online contact form.