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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - Do all skunks have rabies?

Do all skunks have rabies?

Rabies is a disease which results because of virus which is known for inflicting damage to the central nervous system. When it is about skunks the concept which prevails is that they all carry rabies, but virus only gets transmitted to another animal when a skunk is rabid itself. Rabies is generally transmitted by means of saliva when an infected skunk bites another animal in rabid state. It should be noticed here that skunks normally don’t spread rabies by means of urine, spray or feces.

It is never difficult to recognize skunks because they have their own trademark black and white coat also the presence of skunk in your area is often accompanied with bad odor. Seeing skunks in yard is alarming for most of the homeowners because there is danger that pets will contract rabies. This always gives rise to a question that do all skunks have rabies? In this section we will try to discuss the topic in detail so that, next time when you seed skunks in back yard you should be aware of the entire scenario.

Without any doubt skunks are the most common carriers of rabies and it is generally believed that all skunks actually carry rabies, but this is not true. Skunks contract rabies when they are bitten by other animals infected with rabies. Generally skunks take the virus in their blood but for 6 months they don’t exhibit any kind of signs and symptoms. Another important point to mention here is that an infected skunk is never capable of spreading rabies till the disease gets active and he starts showing the symptoms.

Learn more: Do skunks warn before spraying?

Rabies can be present inside a skunk in two ways. Either the animal will turn aggressive which is known as the furious form or the animal will not show any kind of fear or hesitation towards other animals and humans. Furious form of rabies is always easy to recognize and in this condition chances are very high that animal will bite so you have to be extra careful and must stay away from skunks showing aggressive behavior. Dumb form of rabies can become evident when a skunk enters your yard in fearless manner and wanders in a disoriented fashion. Healthy skunks normally don’t have the courage and will tend to run away from pets and people. Therefore, in all cases you should be careful and must not go near a rabid skunk.

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