After three skunks in Sheridan County tested positive for rabies recently, Sheridan County Public Health is reminding residents that rabies prevention strategies, including animal vaccinations, can help residents avoid a deadly disease for themselves, as well as for their pets and livestock.
Do not attempt to interact with animals acting strangely. Report these animals to Alan Plummer at the Sheridan Predator Management District by calling 307-751-6012. Free rabies testing may be indicated.
In 2015 a Fremont County woman died due to rabies, which was Wyoming’s first recorded human rabies case. Over the years rabies has also been confirmed in Wyoming bats, cats, cows, dogs, foxes, horses, squirrels, and skunks.
Rabies can infect any mammal and affects the central nervous system, causing paralysis and ultimately death. Symptoms include behavior changes, including aggression and agitation, and excessive salivation.
Animal vaccinations can keep pets, horses, and other livestock from getting rabies, and help protect pet owners should pets be bitten by a rabid wild animal. Rabies vaccination is important for both indoor and outdoor pets. It is also important to report animal bites to local animal control officials and to follow recommended quarantine guidelines.
General tips for preventing rabies:
- Enjoy wildlife such as bats and skunks from a safe distance.
- People waking to find a bat in their room or a child’s room should contact a medical professional immediately as bats have such small teeth even unknown or minor contact with bats has led to rabies infection. If the bat can be safely captured, it can be tested.
- Vaccinate dogs, cats, ferrets, horses and other selected livestock for rabies and keep vaccinations up-to-date.
- Treat animal bites with soap and water and contact a medical professional immediately.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into the home. Do not try to nurse sick or injured animals – call animal control for help.
- Teach children to never approach unfamiliar dogs, cats, or wildlife, even if they appear friendly.
- Keep pets under supervision or on a leash to minimize contact with wild animals.
If you would like to report an animal inside Sheridan city limits, please contact the Sheridan Communications Center at 672-2413. Animal outside of Sheridan city limits, should be reported to Alan Plummer with the Sheridan Predator Management District at 307-751-6012.
For more information visit the following websites or call Sheridan County Public Health at (307) 672-5169: