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What are the symptoms of a skunk with rabies. Hubby said he…

What are the symptoms of...
What are the symptoms of a skunk with rabies. Hubby said he saw one in our pastures (not the horses, but the ones with cattle) spinning in circles.How do they get rabies? Does something have to bite them? Would they attack the cattle?
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Answered in 21 minutes by:
3/17/2018
Chelsea Schwarb
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 114
Experience: Associate veterinarian at Towne and Country Animal Hospital
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Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed veterinarian. I would be happy to answer your questions. When we have finished our discussion I will ask that you hit accept at the top right of your screen if you are satisfied with my help and leave me a review.

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Skunks are considered the second most common carrier of rabies virus. A skunk that is infected with rabies virus could display a wide range of signs that include: being out in broad daylight (skunks are normally nocturnal animals), not being afraid of people, walking around in an erratic or drunk way, seeming confused, convulsing or seizing, excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, stumbling, vocalizing, being aggressive and lastly circling in one spot.
If your husband saw a skunk in the pasture that was circling then that is grounds to be fairly concerned that the skunk may have been infected with rabies virus. The best thing to do is to call your local animal control office. They would come to your farm and likely euthanize the skunk to submit it to the state diagnostic lab for Rabies testing.
If a rabid skunk bit one of your cattle, then the animal would become infected with the rabies virus. I recommend monitoring your herd for signs of rabies which include: decreased appetite, appearing itchy, abnormal drunk walking, lameness, straining to defecate, hypersalivation, and aggression.
This is a nice website with additional information on rabies virus in cattle: http://www.ksvdl.org/resources/news/diagnostic_insights/may2016/cattle.html

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much. I hate to kill any animal. the only ones I will are possums and I know they don't carry rabies (or so I've been told) but they do carry EPM, right? So if they stay in the wild, they live, if they get in my barn and won't leave, not so much.Two pit bulls killed my senior cat a few weeks ago, and the police told me to shoot them next time they come over (we do have a leash law even though I'm on a farm). The neighbors are asshats - temporary neighbors and could care less.I can't do that either.....yet.Anyway, off topic. Thanks so much for your info, I was afraid that's what it was. HE came home and said what would make a skunk not be afraid and not leave...and I said what do you mean not leave. He said spinning in circles and not going anywhere (the cattle are on a different farm from our home and the horses). I said uh oh and got no Just Answer, lol.One last question....is it very common for them to attack large animals like cattle or horses? I'm going to give hubby your info, but just wondered how common that would be.He actually was defending the skunk, lol. He said he wondered if one of the cattle stepped on him and he was in pain and was spinning. I guess that's possible, but somehow I doubt it.

I'm sorry to hear about your cat being killed. That is awful. Maybe you could look into a tranquilizer gun for the loose dogs that are coming on to your property? If you tranquilized them, then you could have animal control come and pick them up. Their owner's would have to pay a fine to get the dogs back from animal control and that may teach them to take better care of their animals.

Cattle are more apt to get bit by a rabid skunk if they are curious and go up to the skunk to sniff it. Or, if they accidentally step on the skunk they could get bit. It is not as common for a rabid skunk to go out of its way to attack a large animal.

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Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns. If your husband sees the skunk again have him call animal control asap to come get the skunk.
I would appreciate if you would click accept at the top right of your screen if you are satisfied with my help and leave me a review. Thank you!

Chelsea Schwarb
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 114
Experience: Associate veterinarian at Towne and Country Animal Hospital
Verified
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Hi Goldie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Chelsea Schwarb
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Chelsea Schwarb
Chelsea Schwarb
Chelsea Schwarb
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 114
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Experience: Associate veterinarian at Towne and Country Animal Hospital

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