Rabid skunk bites man near Urbanna
by Tom Chillemi
A skunk that bit a man on the ankle in an Urbanna-area neighborhood on Sunday has tested positive for rabies, reported Ricky Warren, chief Middlesex Animal Control Officer.
Warren said a homeowner on Perkins Woods Road in the North Shore Subdivision just west of Urbanna killed the rabid skunk after he was bitten.
Elizabeth Bolster said her husband, Robert, and their golden retriever walked down the driveway to get the newspaper Sunday morning and the skunk chased Mr. Bolster back into the garage, where he used a shovel to kill the animal.
The skunk also chased another man in the neighborhood.
“The skunk was very aggressive,” said Mrs. Bolster. “He went after anything that moved. It’s a little nerve wracking.”
Mr. Bolster is being treated for exposure to rabies and must receive a series of post rabies vaccinations, said Warren.
Although their dog was not bitten, it was given a rabies booster as a precaution by Dr. Adine Jones.
Check Rabies Vaccinations
Officer Warren highly recommends that residents check their pets’ rabies vaccinations to make sure they are up to date. “It literally can be a matter of life or death,” he said.
Sunday’s incident was the fourth case of rabies confirmed in Middlesex County in the past nine months, said Warren.
On December 31, 2007 a dog killed a raccoon in the Montgomery Cove area of Deltaville.
Two more cases of the deadly disease were reported in January. On January 2, a dog got into a fight with a raccoon in the Fishing Bay Road area of Deltaville. The raccoon was shot and killed by a neighbor.
On January 16 in the Jamaica area, a skunk was shot and killed because it was acting strange around a couple of dogs.
All of these animals tested positive for rabies.
Fortunately all dogs involved in these incidents were up to date with their rabies shots, said Warren. The dogs involved got booster rabies shots and were quarantined and observed for 45 days, but were allowed human contact, he said.
Rabid animals usually move slowly, act disoriented, walk in circles, and stagger.