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Rabies Cases in Skunks Increasing in Larimer County (April 2018)

As of mid-April 2018, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed that 13 skunks have tested positive for rabies in Larimer County. The skunks have been found in Fort Collins, Timnath, Wellington, and Carr.

Rabies can infect any warm-blooded mammal, but in Larimer County it is most commonly found in bats and skunks. Skunk rabies may pose a greater risk to pets and people because -- as ground-based animals -- they may interact more with people and pets than a rabid bat would.

If you see a skunk, bat, or other animals that's behaving strangely, keep your distance and call the Larimer Humane Society's animal control number at 970-226-3647, #7. Unusual skunk behavior can include being out during the daytime, being aggressive, turning in circles, or appearing tame and unafraid of people or pets.

The Department of Health and Environment reminds pet owners to keep their animals' rabies vaccinations up to date to prevent lengthy and costly quarantines -- or even euthanasia -- if pets have an encounter with a rabid animal. Livestock owners should check with their veterinarians about rabies vaccinations for their horses, cattle, and other livestock.

Ways to protect you and your family:
  • Do not feed or touch wildlife.
  • Teach children to observe wildlife from a distance and to notify an adult if there is a wild animal in the area or if they are bitten or scratched.
  • Eliminate food sources for wild animals by not feeding pets outdoors, closing pet doors (especially at night), and tightly closing garbage cans and feed bins.
  • Ensure that your pets, horses, and livestock are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.

  • For the latest information on rabies in Larimer County, visit the county website.
     
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