Skunks Blamed For Increase in Kansas Cattle With Rabies

A Kansas State University researcher says a rise in the number of rabid skunks in the state likely has contributed to an increase in cattle rabies cases.

Gregg Hanzlicek is director of production animal field investigations for the university’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. He says 13 rabies cases were recorded this year, up from nine in 2014.

The Hutchinson News reports that after having 69 positive rabies cases last year, the number nearly doubled this year to well over 100.

Hanzlicek says some animals can carry the rabies virus in their saliva before they show signs of the disease, and he cautions ranchers to call their veterinarians when they notice cattle acting oddly.

He says unlike most ranchers, veterinarians are vaccinated for rabies and know what precautions to take.