This Summer, Prevent Exposure to Rabies
Most of us are familiar with the idea that wild animals like bats and raccoons carry rabies, but did you know that, unless properly protected, our pets can be carriers too? Unless pets are vaccinated for rabies, they risk becoming infected and, in turn, infecting humans and other animals with the disease.
There is often no way to tell if an animal has been infected with rabies, so the best way to avoid infection is to avoid exposure. Besides vaccinating our pets, there are other steps we can take to keep ourselves and our pets safe and healthy.
- Maintain control of your pets to reduce exposure to wildlife.
- Spay or neuter to decrease the number of stray animals.
- Report any stray or ill animals to animal control.
- Never feed or handle wild animals, especially bats.
- Bat-proof your house – close outside openings larger than 3/8” in walls, roofs, and floors with caulking, steel wool, or expandable foam, and put screens on all doors, windows, and chimneys.
- Watch for abnormal wild animal behavior; if you see an animal acting strangely, leave it alone and call law enforcement or CCHD.
Since it’s often impossible to tell if an animal has rabies, it’s imperative to treat every encounter with an unfamiliar animal, wild or domestic, with caution. If you have been bitten by an animal, contact your physician and report the incident to CCHD or Animal Control immediately.
For more information on rabies and prevention, download CCHD’s printable fact sheet or visit the following links: