Another skunk, found within the city limits of Canadian, has tested positive for rabies.
The skunk was found in the 600 block of Houston around 4:30 am on Monday. It was captured by the city’s Animal Control officer, and sent to Amarillo for testing.
As soon as rabies was confirmed, the test results were reported by City Code Enforcement Officer Tommy Wyatt.
This is the second time within the last month that a skunk found in the city limits tested positive for rabies. According to the Texas Department of Public Health, 28 cases of rabid animals had been confirmed in the Panhandle by mid-April, and rabies cases had been reported in 72 counties statewide. Last year, only 16 cases of rabies were reported in the Panhandle.
The public should be alert and aware of this danger, and take some simple precautionary measures:
•Don’t approach or handle wild animals.
•Vaccinate your pets.
•Report any sighting of an animal behaving strangely.
•Report stray animals in your neighborhood.
Rabies is an infectious disease that affects the central nervous system in mammals. It’s transmitted through saliva a few days before death, when the animal “sheds” the virus. Rabies is not transmitted through blood, urine, or feces of an infected animal, nor is it spread airborne through the open environment.
Any warm-blooded animal can carry or contract rabies, but the primary carriers are raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes.
According to the Humane Society, in the “furious” form, a rabid animal may appear to be agitated—biting or snapping at imaginary and real objects—and may drool excessively. In the “dumb” form, wild animals may appear tame and seem to have no fear of humans. In addition, a typically nocturnal animal, such as a raccoon or skunk, may be active during the day and exhibit abnormal behavior if it is rabid.
If you see any animal behaving strangely, or if you notice stray animals in your neighborhood, please report to the city Animal Control officer by calling 806. 323.6473. During non-business hours, contact the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office at 806.323.5324.
Also, make sure your pet’s shots are current. If they need to be updated, please call Canadian Veterinary Clinic at 806.323.5395 or High Plains Veterinary Services at 806.323.8387 to arrange for vaccination.