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Rabies Vector Species
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    Foxes, skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, and bats are rabies vector species and can carry the rabies virus without showing any of the typical symptoms.  It is important to handle these animals with caution if you need to rescue one.  Use gloves, towels or other thick materials. Some symptoms the animal might display are signs of neurological disorder, dragging rear legs, excessive drooling, scruffy fur and/or any discharge from the eyes and nose.  Prevent any type of exposure to the animal.  Exposure would be you coming into contact with the animal's saliva from a bite or on any open wounds and mucus areas like the eyes, nose and mouth. These symptoms could also be signs of parvo virus or distemper in raccoons and foxes, keep away from your pets.

    When you discover young alone, make sure the Mother is not around the area.  Always, give some time for the mother to retrieve her young before you decide it needs to be rescued.  Sometimes you can place these young back into their dens if you know where it is located.

    If you need to rescue an orphan, make sure you are wearing gloves and you keep the animal covered up in a container with a tight lid and air holes warm, dark and quiet.  It is recommended that you not try to give them anything to drink or eat.  Call our hot line 804-598-8380 for instructions, advice and a licensed wildlife rehabilitator closest to you. A rabies vector rehabilitator has been trained in handling these animals and has been vaccinated for the rabies virus.

                           redfoxkits              raccoonbabies

                           groundhogs.JPG             youngskunks.jpg

    Should you or your children find a bat in the room where you have been sleeping, you need to capture the bat so it can be tested for rabies.  Call your local Health Department for instructions on what to do.  A bat's bite is very small, hard to find and hard to see.  You might not even notice you were bitten while asleep.


    Steps to follow if you should need to rescue:

    Step 1.  Do not give the animal anything to eat or drink, especially milk.  There are special milk replacers for animals for their sensitive digestive needs.

    Step 2.  With gloves on, cover the animal with soft material that will not snag and place in a box with cover and air holes.

    Step 3.  Keep the animal dark and warm.  You can put a source of heat in the box next to the animal such as a sock filled with rice heated in the microwave or a hot water bottle.

    Step 4.   Do not let anyone near the animal and call our hotline 804-598-8380 for a rehabilitator in your area.

    Thank you for your support !