The Texas Department of State Health Services Rabies Laboratory reported that a skunk captured from a Southwest Arlington residential neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. Animal Service officials have determined, after investigation, an ill-acting striped skunk was observed and removed from the area in the 7000 block of Gunston Lane. There were no exposures related to this animal.
Skunks are not frequently active during daylight hours as they are typically nocturnal, or diurnal animals (being active at night, or in the early mornings/late evenings). Those that are seen actively moving around during the middle of the day AND acting injured, ill, or disoriented may be infected with the rabies virus, and should be reported to Animal Services, immediately. Skunks and other wildlife should never be approached under any circumstances, day or night. If you see one during the day, make sure people or pets do not get near the animal. It is also important to notify Animal Services if any people, pets, or livestock come into contact with a skunk, or any wildlife, even if the animal is no longer in the area.
Please, Let Wildlife Be Wild.
Rabies is always fatal! People and animals may become infected with the rabies virus if an animal that has the disease bites or scratches them. Anyone who is exposed must take a series of post-exposure injections to prevent them from becoming infected with this fatal disease.
You should also note that in addition to skunks; bats, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes are all high-risk carriers of the disease. Any wild animal that does not show fear of humans or appears sick or sluggish, should not be approached under any circumstances.
Pet owners are reminded that all dogs and cats are required by state law to be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age, and on a one-year or three-year basis, thereafter, depending on the type of vaccine used. We also encourage all owners of livestock to consider vaccinating their animals as recommended by a licensed veterinarian.