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Rabid skunk captured in Lockhart

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

Lockhart Animal Services announced this week that a skunk picked up by animal control recently was tested positive for rabies.

According to a statement released by Animal Services this week, Lockhart dispatchers received a 9-1-1 call on March 20 regarding a skunk running loose in the Century Oaks Subdivision off High

way 20 East in Lockhart. After capturing the skunk, animal services staff tested the animal and it tested positive for rabies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rabies virus is preventable, and most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The virus impacts the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and finally, death. However, the United States has been declared free of canine rabies virus variant transmission, and the risk to the human population from such a disease is limited.

Still, Animal Control officials warned that some domestic animals may have had contact with the rabid skunk, and encouraged anyone that believes their pet may have come across the animal to contact a veterinarian or the Lockhart Animal Shelter immediately.

Rabid animals usually stop eating and drinking, and may appear to want to be left alone. After the initial onset of symptoms, the animal may become vicious or begin to show signs of paralysis. Some rabid animals bite at the slightest provocation and others may be somnolent and difficult to arouse. Once the animal shows signs of paralysis, the disease progresses very quickly and the animal dies.

The rabies virus can, and often does, have a “latent period” where it grows in the muscles and is undetectable. This period can last as long as three months in some animals.

The Texas Health Code requires that cats and dogs be vaccinated for rabies annually.

If you have concern about the possibility of a rabid animal in your area, contact the Lockhart Animal Shelter at (512) 398-3336. After hours calls should be directed to the Lockhart Police Department at (512) 398-4401

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