Skunks are a common sight among wild animals in suburban neighborhoods, after squirrels and raccoons. While most people tend to give them a wide berth because of their signature smelly spray, skunks can also carry rabies. Below, we will discuss some of the telltale signs of a rabid skunk.

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that affects mammals. It often spreads through a bite from a rabid animal. The virus attacks the central nervous system. It is most commonly found among raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes according to the CDC.

Rabies Symptoms in Skunks

For skunks, rabies can manifest a variety of symptoms. One of the most known symptoms of rabies is foaming at the mouth. Rabid animals tend to have trouble swallowing, causing them to build up excess saliva, leading to drooling or foaming mouths. Saliva from a rabid animal carries the virus, which spreads the disease through bites.
Skunks are usually docile and will flee if threatened, after spraying their musk at an attacker. When dealing with rabies, skunks are more likely to show aggressive and even violent behaviors. This is likely due to the confusion caused by the virus. This aggression also helps spread the rabies virus, as it is spread through bites during these fits of rage.
Rabid animals may also have trouble moving or may move stiffer than usual. Rabies can cause lethargy and stiffness as it attacks the nervous system.

Skunks are Nocturnal

Skunks generally are the most active during the night. They usually appear around dusk and will continue being active towards the deep hours of the night. While it may not be uncommon to see a skunk around sunrise or sunset, a skunk sighting in the middle of the day is rare. This doesn’t mean it has rabies, however. It may have been displaced or scared out of its burrow. But, if you spot a skunk during the day and notice some of the above symptoms, it may be a cause for concern.

Humane Skunk Trapping and Removal

If a skunk is on your property and you believe it may be rabid, stay away from it, get indoors, and contact a professional wildlife removal service. Proper capture and removal of a rabid animal can help prevent injury or the spread of rabies to humans or animals. NYNJ Wildlife Removal handles the safe and humane removal of wild animals such as raccoons and skunks.

When A Rabid Animal Bites a Person or Pet

Wash the wound with mild soap and warm water if a wild animal bites you or your pet. Then take the person or pet to a hospital or veterinarian clinic, respectively. Whether you believe the animal is rabid or not, it is safer to act fast. Make sure all of your pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations. Do not let pets outside without supervision or a leash.

We specialize in the humane removal of raccoons, rats, squirrels, and other pests in the New York/New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.