Animals

Mar 14, 2011 7:47 PM by Andy Koen

Vaccines encouraged as rabid skunk sightings increase

The El Paso County Health Department and the Colorado Division of Wildlife are encouraging pet owners and people who own livestock to get their animals vaccinated for rabies.

They are concerned because a growing number of rabid skunks have been reported this winter which is unusual because the animals tend to be dormant this time of year. As the weather warms up, the risk of exposure increases particularly among pets and livestock.

Health department medical director Dr. Bernadette Albanese adds that it's important to give vaccinated animals their 1 year or 3 year booster shots as well.

"The whole point of immunizing your animal is that if they get exposed in the wild and you weren't even aware, you don't notice the bite, you don't notice the scratch, that the vaccine is keeping them protected in case that would happen."

The health department is encouraging the public to to stay away from wildlife in general. You should report the animal to the Division of Wildlife if it is acting aggressive or seems to walking around in circles or confused.

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