Aug 1, 2013 11:31 AM by Bill Folsom
Rabies has made it to the west side of I-25 in El Paso County. A fox that had been hit by a car last week tested positive for the deadly disease. This is the first terrestrial mammal to test positive for rabies west of I-25 in El Paso County. The rabid fox was found near High Lake View, in Colorado Springs near the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Because rabies is a fatal disease El Paso County Public Health wants everyone aware of the situation. They give the following list of precautions to protect you and your pets.
PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR PETS
· Vaccinate your pets against rabies by using a licensed veterinarian. Rabies shots need to be boosted, so check your pet's records or talk to your veterinarian.
· Do not feed wild animals. Wild animals like skunks and foxes adapt to residential environments if food is available - please don't leave pet food outdoors.
· Don't touch or approach wild or stray animals.
· Teach children not to approach or play with unknown animals - dogs, cats, or any wild animals (dead or alive).
· If you or a family member is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal, call your doctor and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (719) 473-1741.
· Contact an animal-control or wildlife conservation agency for assistance with "bat-proofing" your home. Information is also available at www.cdc.gov/rabies/bats/management/
· When walking or hiking with your dog, protect them and wildlife by keeping your dog on a leash.
· Keep cats and other pets inside at night when foxes and skunks are more active. Keep dogs within your sight (in a fenced yard, or on leash) during the day while outside.
· Contact your veterinarian promptly if you believe your pet has been exposed to a wild animal.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE SICK OR DISEASED WILDLIFE
· Healthy wild animals are normally afraid of humans. Foxes are active at night but can also be seen out during the day, especially if they are looking for food for their pups.
· Sick or diseased animals often do not run away when spotted by people.
· Wildlife suffering from rabies will often act aggressively and violently approach people or pets.
· However, sometimes rabid animals are overly quiet and passive and want to hide. If they are hiding, leave them alone. Rabid wildlife might also stumble or have trouble walking.
· Report sick or diseased animals to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife at (719) 227-5200.