Health Department Reminds Pet and Livestock Owners to Keep Animals Up to Date with Rabies Vaccinations
Larimer County, CO — The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) has confirmed that a bat in Larimer County has tested positive for rabies. This is the first rabid bat found in Larimer County this year. This bat interacted with two dogs in a backyard and had no known human contact. The dogs were current on their rabies vaccines at the time of the incident and received immediate rabies vaccine boosters.
LCDHE reminds pet and livestock owners to keep their animals up to date on rabies vaccinations to prevent lengthy and costly quarantines—or even euthanasia—if they have an encounter with a rabid animal. Livestock owners should check with their veterinarians about rabies vaccinations for their horses, cattle, and other livestock.
Rabies is spread primarily by saliva through the bite of a rabid animal. Once symptoms of rabies infection appear, there is no cure, and the infection is fatal. People that have been exposed to rabies can receive medication treatment to prevent illness. In Larimer County, rabies is most often found in bats, skunks, and raccoons, but can be found in other mammals as well.
“Vaccinations can keep pets, horses and livestock from getting rabies and this helps protect residents if the pet has contact with a rabid animal,” says Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director. “It is important to report animal bites to local Animal Control and the Health Department.”
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.
Larimer County residents should call the Larimer Humane Society’s Animal Control at 970-266-3647, extension #7, to report any encounter with a bat, skunk, or other animal that looks sick. For the latest information on rabies in Larimer County, including a map of the locations where rabid animals have been found, visit http://www.larimer.org/rabies.