Saturday, 30 June 2012

Rabies outbreak in Carlsbad prompts warning to avoid wild animals

CARLSBAD - You see a helpless, injured animal in the wild and know it needs immediate medical attention. What should you do?

"Don't touch it. For personal safety, call a veterinarian like myself or animal control," local veterinarian Samantha Uhrig advises.

Uhrig, who is licensed to care for injured wildlife at her Desert Willow Veterinarian clinic on Fiesta Drive, said in some cases, bringing in a bird that has been injured in the wild is OK.

But bringing in a wild, injured animal for medical attention should be left to the professionals, she advises. The current rabies outbreak in skunks is a major concern and a source for infecting other wild animals and humans.

"The city and county's animal control officers are vaccinated against rabies and they have the proper equipment to catch the animal. People also can call me. I'll go and get the animal," Uhrig said. "We get a lot of orphaned wildlife that people find and bring to us for medical treatment. I strongly advise against doing that. A lot of baby mammals such as raccoons and foxes look cute and cuddly, but they can carry the rabies virus. Sometimes they show symptoms and sometimes they don't. But it can be passed on to humans."

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