The risk of domestic animals being exposed to rabies has increased because of rabid skunks found in and around Boulder County. Skunk rabies is now widespread along the front range. Previously, bats had been the main carrier of rabies. Skunk rabies is a type of “terrestrial” rabies, meaning that it is carried by animals that travel on the ground, rather than by bats that fly. Rabies in ground-dwelling animals increases the risk of rabies exposure to pets, livestock and humans.
The Health Department stresses that rabies vaccination is the best way to keep pets, livestock, and—most importantly—humans from contracting this fatal illness. Keeping pet and livestock vaccinations up-to-date is the only way to avoid putting pets through a lengthy quarantine or euthanasia if they have an encounter with a rabid animal. Livestock owners should check with their veterinarian about rabies vaccinations for their horses, cattle, and other livestock.
Lafayette residents are advised to stay clear of animals that appear sick or behave strangely, and to report such animals to the Lafayette Police, 303.441.4444 . If you suspect your pet or livestock have been in contact with a rabid animal or if they are showing signs of illness or unusual or aggressive behavior, contact your veterinarian.