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Rabies and Wild Animal Bites

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through a bite contaminated by the saliva of an infected animal. If the virus enters the central nervous system, the first symptoms to appear may include fever, headache, weakness or pain. As the disease progresses, symptoms may also include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, paralysis, hallucinations, difficulty swallowing, or in very rare cases, death.

Wild animal bites carry the risk of rabies. Rabies is more common in bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes than in cats and dogs. Rabbits, squirrels and other rodents rarely carry rabies.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people exposed to bats, or discover bats are present while sleeping,  seek medical advice, even if they don’t think they’ve been bitten. This is because bat bite marks can be hard to see.

It also is crucial to take your pet to a  veterinarian  if bitten  by a wild animal. An animal bite is not only threatening for your pet, but may endanger family members as well.   A preventative vaccination may be administered.  Your local or state health department will most likely be contacted for further action to be taken depending on the circumstances.

With all wild animal bites, seek immediate medical treatment.  Take all necessary precautions, yet please note statistics show that nationwide, rabies kills only a handful of people each year.  Although rabies can be serious, human rabies cases are rare and usually not life threatening.

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