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These Animals May Carry Rabies

Do you know which common animals may carry rabies or what to do if a bite occurs? Rabies might seem a bit scary, but staying informed is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your pets safe.

If an animal has bitten you, visit us at Houston Medical ER in Houston and Spring, Texas. Our team of certified physicians and ER-trained nurses are ready to provide effective treatments to help you heal and minimize the risk of infection. 

Learn which animals are commonly associated with rabies, how to identify a bite, and the steps you should take if you find yourself in such a situation.

Rabies 101

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It's usually transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. It's rare in the United States, with just 1-3 human cases reported each year.

Meet the usual suspects

Which animals are most likely to be carriers of the rabies virus? Let's introduce you to the usual suspects.


These nocturnal creatures are the most common source of human rabies infections in the US, accounting for 70% of cases.


These masked bandits are the primary wild animal reservoirs of rabies in the US, especially in the eastern part of the country.


Skunks, particularly those in the Midwest, are also significant carriers of the virus.


In certain regions, like Texas and Alaska, foxes can be primary carriers of rabies.

Domestic animals

Cats, dogs, and livestock can also contract rabies, usually from contact with wild animals. But thanks to pet vaccination laws, these cases have significantly decreased.

Keeping safe from rabies

Now that you know who the culprits are, what's the best way to protect yourself and your pets? Here are a few tips:

  • Avoid approaching wild animals, especially those acting unusually or appearing sick
  • Ensure your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations
  • If you find a bat in your home, don't release it
  • Report any stray animals to local authorities

And most importantly, if you or your pet has been bitten by an animal that could potentially have rabies, seek medical attention immediately.

We’re here for you

If you or someone you care about has experienced an animal bite, don't delay seeking treatment from our skilled team at Houston Medical ER. We understand the urgency and potential risks involved, so we immediately clean the wound and provide numbing, if necessary. 

Depending on the severity, we may close the wound using staples, stitches, or medical tape to promote proper healing. 

We may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to prevent infection and administer a tetanus shot, if required. Maintaining cleanliness and dryness in the treated area is crucial while keeping a close eye on any signs of infection. 

If discomfort persists, over-the-counter pain medicine can offer temporary relief. 

When it comes to animal bites, time is of the essence. Call us at Houston Medical ER or visit us today for prompt and professional care.

For any medical procedure, patients respond to treatment differently, hence each patient's results may vary.
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