Rabies is a deadly disease that is caused by a virus entering the nervous system and causing dehydration, confusion, paralysis and death. It is commonly shown in cartoons and movies as a crazed, zombie – like animal with red eyes, and foam spewing from its enraged jowls.
Most people avoid any contact with strange animals for fear of contracting rabies, but the truth is that not all animals have rabies. Only mammals can contract this virus and not all of them do. Birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles do not contract rabies, so pigeon, parrot, snake or frog bite will most definitely not give you rabies.
Contrary to popular belief, rodents are not commonly carriers of this disease. While it is always advisable to get tested after being bitten by a rat, the chances of being infected with rabies are very low, and squirrels are actually being tested for their apparent immunity to the virus. Although skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes are common carriers and victims of this disease, making them animals that you should absolutely avoid contact with as much as possible, the most common animal infected with rabies in recent years is the cat, because of irresponsible vaccination habits from their owners.
Pets are very susceptible to being infected with rabies because they come into direct contact with nature often and use their noses to discover and explore the yard or the park. This can bring them into contact with a sick raccoon or bat and will most likely get a good bite for their curiosity. While dogs are generally on a leash or confined to their relatively secure fenced yard, cats tend to have utter freedom to roam, and will venture out at night to hunt. This means that they may end up killing an infected bat or raccoon, or maybe get into a fight with a fox or a skunk.
Other farm animals like cattle, sheep, horses and goats are also at risk of being infected with rabies because of their exposure to wild animals that may carry the disease. Although deadly, it does have a cure, and healthy vaccination habits can prevent unnecessary infections.
back to the How to Get Rid of Pests page or email us if you have any other questions about Do All Animals Have Rabies
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.