Unwelcome Creatures Carry Deadly Disease - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Rabies Cases Confirmed in Wichita County

The Wichita Falls Wichita County Health District has confirmed four cases of rabies found in skunks since February of this year. Two cases were found in the northern part of the Wichita County and two others in the southern part. Domesticated animals without current rabies vaccinations came in contact with these skunks.

"Several dogs and horses without current rabies vaccinations came in contact with these skunks," said Animal Services Administrator Katrena Mitchell. "This caused the animals to either be euthanized or placed in isolation for up to 90 days depending on the level of contact with a rabid skunk. It's early in the season for us to be experiencing the number of positive specimens we have. We want everyone to be aware so they can protect themselves and their pets," said Mitchell.

We told you last month about the rabies concern with skunks.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers found they often carry with them a deadly disease.

"Skunks are just more prone to carry it. They might not always be infected or show the virus but they are carriers," Animal Control Supervisor Steve Dodge said.

There are many signs an animal might have rabies. Skunks are typically nocturnal, so if you see them out during the day it mat be a good indication they have the disease.

"If the skunks are not afraid of humans or afraid of animals that's one of the signs. I mean, if they're coming up to them, that's a sign something is wrong with the skunk. It might not be rabies, but we make the assumption it is, we're always trying to stay on the preventative side," Dodge said.

There are some things you can do to avoid any unwanted encounters.

"Put up any loose food. If you have any out, it's an invitation for dinner for them. Whether it's cat or dog food for your outside animal, put it up at nighttime. That's when they come out the most and you'll keep them away," Dodge said.

It is a state law and city ordinance to vaccinate any domestic dog or cat for rabies.

Dodge said that's the best thing you can do to protect your pet.

"Get the rabies shot. Keep them current. Rabies shot is preventative, not a cure all, but it's the best prevention we have," he said.

If you or your pet have a run-in with any animal you are not familiar with Dodge said to call Animal Control immediately and get a shot just in case.

Some of the other top carries of rabies in Texoma are raccoons, bats, foxes & coyotes.

To report any unwelcome animals call Animal Control at 940-761-7824.  You can also find more information on their services by clicking here.

Lindsey Rogers, Newschannel 6

For more information on how to protect yourself and your pets click here

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