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Puppy Gets Rabies From Skunk in Weld County Near Hudson

Skunk - This skunk does not have rabies
Jeff J Mitchell, Getty Images

A rabid skunk near Hudson is suspected of attacking a puppy, which resulted in the spread of rabies to the dog. The puppy came in contact with four other dogs and six people in Weld, and five others outside of Weld County. Colorado State University lab testing on May 10 confirmed rabies in the puppy and the dogs and people are receiving post-exposure preventative rabies treatment.  There are no other exposure concerns for the public or other animals from this Hudson case. The four dogs will be monitored over the next 120 days.

How to Avoid Rabies

Dr. Mark E. Wallace, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department, says:

The best protection against rabies is to avoid contact with wild animals and keep your pets vaccinated. If your pet is too young to be vaccinated, do not allow it to be outside unsupervised.

Any mammal, including humans, is at risk for contracting rabies. The risk of human exposure to rabies increases when pets and domestic animals are not properly vaccinated. If you are in direct contact with a rabid animal, such as a skunk or bat, your risk is much higher.

 Signs of Rabies

Signs of rabies include increases in saliva and drooling, nocturnal animals seen out during the daytime, slow or difficult movement, and confusion or aggression. Rabies is a disease caused by a virus that affects the nervous system. Rabies causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord and is nearly always fatal. It is transmitted in saliva through the bite of an infected animal. The virus can also be transmitted in saliva to an open cut, scratch or wound. If a person suspects they have been exposed to rabies, they should contact their medical provider immediately.

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