Bat Caught by Dog in Florida Tests Positive for Rabies
On Thursday, March 3, 2022, a bat in Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida, was confirmed to have tested positive for rabies. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Section reported that this was the first case of rabies in the county this year; which follows five cases in 2021 and one case in 2020.
The bat was captured and sent to an animal shelter in Tampa for testing by the PCSO animal control, after it was found in the mouth of a pet dog, in the Lake Mirror area. Although the dog had been put at risk by this encounter, it is reported that the dog was unharmed. Sheriff Grady Judd said: “Fortunately, this dog was current on its rabies vaccination, but it will have to be quarantined to make sure it is not infected. Remember, if a wild mammal is acting aggressive or appears sick, stay away from it and contact Animal Control immediately.”
How can you protect your pets from rabies?
- Make sure your pet is up to date with rabies vaccinations
- Be cautious of any bats that are around during the day, in strange places, or bats that are struggling to fly, as this could indicate that the bat is rabid. We echo the advice from the Sheriff – if you see any animal that seems sick or aggressive, contact animal control.
- If your pet has been in contact with a bat, get in touch with your local vet or animal control for advice. If you are unsure whether there was contact, still take steps to quarantine and keep a close watch on your pet, even if it has been vaccinated. Bites and scratches will often not be visible so it is best to take these precautions, to be sure it is not infected.
A rabid bat – what’s the risk?
We repeat these warnings out of concern since rabies cases are reported each year in the US. Sadly, if left untreated, rabies is a fatal disease, so we all need to stay alert to protect ourselves and our pets. For more information on how to spot a rabid bat, check out the article below. If you think you may have a bat colony in your residential or commercial property, contact your local bat removal specialist. Our trained bat removal experts are ready to help you. Please contact us if you need any advice.
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For more information on rabies and bat removal, please click on the links below: