Any Mammal Can Get Rabies

For Fox Sake’s focus is on our local rabies vector species: skunks, foxes, and raccoons. But these animals aren’t “rabies vectors” simply because they can catch rabies, but rather, because they can live with it for several days or weeks and transmit it to other animals, including humans, during that time.

It’s possible for absolutely any mammal to have rabies. You’re extremely unlikely to get rabies from, say, a squirrel, because they don’t live long after getting sick and rarely survive attacks by rabid predators. You’re also unlikely to catch rabies from an opossum because they’re resistant (but not immune) to the virus.

However, you were bitten by any animal that was showing neurological symptoms like staggering, aggression, unusual vocalizing, and excessive drooling, it’s always important to call your local health department and your doctor to have the animal tested and to find out if you need treatment.

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