Two bats have tested positive for rabies in Colorado Springs, Colorado. These are the first of the year for Pueblo County, CO.
Public health officials are reminding the public not to touch wild animals. Even if it appears sick or injured. It is a short story, but you can read more on this particular case here: http://www.krdo.com/news/pueblo/two-bats-found-with-rabies-in-pueblo-county/526692861
Many people don’t realize that bats often get what is called “dumb rabies”. This means it renders them almost comatose. They appear sick to us and caring people will pick them up to take them for medical care.
This contact often results in two things.
- The bat will be euthanized to be tested for rabies either way because it has made contact with you.
- You will have to undergo a painful (and expensive) series of rabies shots.
What If My Pet Brings Me A Bat?
This is much more common than many people realize. If your dog or cat brings you a bat they have found or killed, the most important thing you can do, is get it away from them and DO NOT dispose of it. You have to have that bat tested for rabies.
In Colorado, dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be immunized against rabies according to their respective schedules by a licensed veterinarian. Laws vary state to state, however. If you are reading this and don’t live in Colorado, refer to this blog here for our list of all states requirements.
If your pet is not fully immunized, and the bat is not tested for rabies, there is a good chance that animal control will advise you to have your pet euthanized. It really is a much kinder fate than letting them suffer through rabies symptoms.
There is sometimes the option of quarantining them until you know whether or not they have it. This is often extremely expensive and still may not get you the result you are hoping for.
Testing For Rabies Is The Best Option
If you disregard advise from experts and handle a bat, having it tested for rabies is always the best option. If your pet brings you a bat, always get it tested. We also urge you to keep your pets immunized.
Having a bat tested for rabies is a free service done by the state you live in as rabies is closely monitored. There are different drop off spots. Some vets offices will accept a drop off for the state. Sometimes you have to take it to a state facility. Call your local department of health to find the nearest drop off point for you. If you can’t drop it off for a couple of days, put it in a sealed container in the fridge. This will preserve the brain tissue for testing. And while we’re on that, do everything you can to preserve the head. Do not crush it or the brain tissue may not be able to be tested.
We monitor for rabies alerts. Check back to our blog regularly to see if there are any in your area.
If you have a bat infestation in your home or building, rabies exposure is a major concern. Please don’t live with a bat problem. Call us and we’ll have our nearest technician come out for an inspection. Or, just click the link below and send us your contact information. We’ll take care of the rest for you!
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