Can You Or Your Pets Catch Diseases From Skunks?
Like many mammals skunks are capable of spreading numerous diseases. These diseases can be spread to both humans and other animals, so being mindful of the location of your pets is always important, especially in rural locations. Skunks can spread disease in a number of different ways, all with varying degrees of unpleasantness.
Luckily people do not contact diseases from skunks too often because skunks tend to run in fright when coming into contact with humans. However, sometimes a skunk can respond to humans violently if a skunk feels sufficiently threatened. When skunks attack they can leave scratches and bites that can transmit disease. There is also the possibility of contracting a disease from a skunk by coming into contact with its urine or feces, which is how many animals, and even children become infected with disease. Strangely, despite a skunks spray being particularly foul smelling, experts say that a skunks spray cannot transmit disease.
Rabies is not a common disease in the United States, but skunks are the most numerous carriers of rabies when compared to all other animals. Therefore it is of the utmost importance to seek professional medical care if you happen to come into physical contact with a skunk.
A condition known as tularemia can be spread by skunks. Its symptoms include fever, loss of appetite and sepsis, which can appear three to five days after initial contact with a skunk. Leptospirosis is another disease that can be contracted from skunks, or any animal that happens to carry the disease. This disease, unlike tularemia, is usually contracted from animal feces. In sever cases this disease can cause meningitis, liver damage, and kidney failure, but mostly the symptoms do not become more serious than headaches or fevers if the disease is brought to the attention of medical professionals in sufficient time.
Have you ever known someone who had come into physical contact with a skunk, or has been sprayed by a skunk?