The nine-banded armadillo is one of many unfairly stigmatized animals living here in Tennessee. It’s hard to avoid worrisome news headlines about armadillos carrying leprosy, a painful, disfiguring disease that we humans have feared for millennia. It’s true that some nine-banded armadillos do carry the bacterium that causes leprosy. They first caught it about 500Continue reading “Will armadillos give me leprosy?”
Category Archives: Public Health
For Fox Sake Supports Vaccines!
Our recent post about the USDA’s oral rabies vaccine generated a lot of controversy! Commenters made claims that— among other things— rabies vaccines spread rabies and contain ground-up human baby parts. The oral rabies vaccine is distributed by the USDA, not For Fox Sake, but we’ve received similar criticisms whenever we’ve mentioned vaccinating the animalsContinue reading “For Fox Sake Supports Vaccines!”
Live-Trapping Nuisance Raccoons Means Killing Them
For raccoons in Tennessee, live trapping is a death sentence.
Do Opossums Spread Typhus?
The Virginia opossum’s rat-like appearance and association with filth leads many people to associate it with disease. In the last few years, many people have been alarmed by headlines about opossums spreading murine typhus in Los Angeles, and it has reignited fears about this gentle marsupial. No mammal actually spreads murine typhus. Typhus is causedContinue reading “Do Opossums Spread Typhus?”
Mange vs. Shedding in Foxes
When you think of foxes, you probably picture a fluffy animal with luxurious, beautiful fur. For some species and subspecies of fox, this can be an accurate image, but for foxes in temperate regions like ours, it only tends to apply during the cooler months. During warm seasons, both red and grey foxes shed soContinue reading “Mange vs. Shedding in Foxes”
Wild Animals Don’t Need Love
Good people, with good intentions, sentence animals to death every day with improper care. It’s terrible not just because the animals suffer, but because their well-meaning caregivers suffer, too. Rehabilitating wildlife properly takes more than just love and dedication, and more than you can learn from a weekend crash-course on Google. To actually thrive onContinue reading “Wild Animals Don’t Need Love”
Found A Baby Raccoon? Don’t Touch!
Every year, wildlife rehabilitators, game wardens, and veterinarians are forced to euthanize hundreds of healthy raccoons. In most parts of the country, raccoons are considered rabies vector species. This does not mean that it is likely that they have rabies; only that they are at a greater risk than, say, a rabbit or goat. BecauseContinue reading “Found A Baby Raccoon? Don’t Touch!”
Do Opossums Spread Disease?
Opossums look a little bit like huge rats, so they’ve been mistakenly associated with disease. But, with very few exceptions, opossums can’t and don’t carry the same viruses that infect humans and pets. An opossum’s normal body temperature is typically around 93-94 degrees, and sometimes as low as 89-90 degrees. Most diseases affecting pets orContinue reading “Do Opossums Spread Disease?”
Is a Coyote Likely to Have Rabies?
Fear of rabies are one of the most common reasons that people kill coyotes. While it’s certainly not a good idea to approach, provoke, or handle any wild animal, coyotes are actually one of the less likely carriers of rabies in the United States. In the 1970s, mass vaccination helped to eradicate the strain ofContinue reading “Is a Coyote Likely to Have Rabies?”
Sick. Not “Friendly.”
Pretty much everyone wishes they could befriend a wild animal. It’s not at all uncommon for people to be excited when a wild fox or raccoon seems to randomly approach them without fear. It’s human nature to project that the animal is seeking comfort or companionship, and to fantasize about being able to provide exactlyContinue reading “Sick. Not “Friendly.””