It appears that the skunk population has spread Rabies virus across the Denver area this year. To the right is the communication we received from the health department, which urges animals in contact with humans be immunized, or boosted as necessary for Rabies. This is especially important for horse owners because of the transmission risk due to exposure to a rabid horse’s saliva when putting the bit in the mouth or other activities that expose owners to secretions from the horse’s body. If your horse had it’s booster in the last year, he or she is protected. We consider the horse to be a “buffer” between wild animals like skunks that are infected and humans. Call the office today at 303-841-6006 to get your horse’s protection up to date!
Please share the following message with your staff:
Over the last two months, Tri-County Health Department has responded to four incidents involving skunks with confirmed or highly suspected rabies infection in urban areas of the city of Aurora. Three of the four incidents resulted in skunks potentially exposing both humans and pets to rabies. All people and pets have received appropriate follow up and treatment. Thus far in 2016, rabid skunks have been identified in urban areas of Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson counties. The geographic spread of skunk rabies westward through the Denver Metropolitan Area is unprecedented.
Public Health anticipates more incidents of contact between humans or domestic animals and rabid skunks in both rural and urban settings. Your office may be responding to calls or incidents represent a potential rabies exposure, which needs to be investigated promptly. Please follow these steps:
- Notify Tri-County Health Department at 303-220-9200 within 24 hours of any incident where a domestic animal (pet or livestock) might have had physical contact with a suspect rabid animal, including:
- Bites by rabies reservoir species (skunk, bat, fox or raccoon)
- Biting animal is acting sick, abnormal or has symptoms suggestive of rabies
- Biting domestic pet dies in quarantine
- Bites by wild carnivores (bobcat, coyote, mountain lion, bear)
- Contact Tri-Counw Health Department prior to euthanasia if a domestic animal bit a person within the past 10 days and the pet owner is requesting euthanasia.
- Actively reach out to clients with pets that are overdue on their rabies vaccinations and advise them to come in for a booster dose.