When people hear the term “rabies,” we often think of animals foaming at the mouth, but it often isn’t that simple or clear. While you should always treat a wild animal with respect and caution, it can always be good to know how to identify signs of rabies. In this article, we will discuss identifying the signs of rabies in skunks.

Skunks in the Daytime

Generally, skunks are nocturnal critters and are rarely active before dusk. Rabies can affect the sleep patterns of animals infected with it. Because of this, rabid skunks are often spotted during the day. While this isn’t the only reason a skunk could be active during the day, it can be an important indicator.

Rabies and “Drunken” Behavior

When skunks get rabies, they may stumble around or become easily confused. To some, this may seem like the skunk is in a “drunken” state. They may also not respond quickly to stimuli like lights or noise. However, this does not mean that they will not react. In this state, they can still bite or scratch and will lash out aggressively if they feel threatened.

Rabies and Aggression in Skunks

As mentioned above, skunks can act aggressively while subject to rabies. Generally, skunks can be timid and easily frightened when threatened, preferring to spray and run rather than fight. Some skunks that feel safe in the presence of people may openly approach if they do not feel threatened. You should always keep your distance from wild animals regardless of how docile they seem.
Rabid skunks, however, are more prone to acts of aggression. They may lash out, attempt to fight other animals, or otherwise act in aggressive ways. They may even attempt to attack when unprovoked. Pets and children are often more at risk of attack than adults, as they are often more likely to approach a skunk.

Do Not Approach Wild Animals

Regardless of if you think a skunk is rabid or not, steer clear of them. If you or a loved one is bitten or scratched by a wild skunk, seek medical attention, and call a wildlife removal specialist. Bring injured pets to the vet.

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.