Do Squirrels Have Rabies: Debunking the Myth Surrounding Squirrel Rabies

Yes, squirrels can have rabies, but only rarely. While they may sometimes have it, rabies is incredibly rare in squirrels, and they have not been found to transmit the virus to humans, making them an almost insignificant concern when talking about contracting the said virus.

Squirrel Rabies Is Mostly a Myth

Squirrel rabies is one of the most widespread urban legends; even though squirrels usually do not have rabies, the myth of squirrel rabies has persisted for years. 

The truth is, squirrels are still considered an insignificant risk for contracting rabies – even if they bite someone! This is because, contrary to popular belief, squirrels do not commonly have rabies and are not dangerous to humans. 

The myth of squirrel rabies originated in the 1800s when people began seeing more cases of human rabies than ever before. It was later found that most human rabies cases were due to other animal bites, such as those from bats or primates.

Squirrels as Possible Rabies Carriers

Flying Squirrels 

Flying squirrels can be carriers of rabies, but as with other kinds of squirrels, it happens very rarely. So if you spot one in your area, it is essential to avoid contact with it.

Can Squirrels Transmit Rabies to Humans?

Squirrels, as well as other rodents, have not previously been found to transmit rabies to humans. 

However, if you or someone you know is bitten by a squirrel and develops any symptoms, contact your doctor immediately: fever, swollen lymph nodes, confusion, seizures, or hallucinations. 

Squirrels Do Not Give Rabies to Dogs

Dogs can’t get rabies from squirrels! The worst a squirrel bite can do is give your dog a wound infection. 

Can You Get Rabies From Touching a Squirrel?

No, you cannot get rabies from touching a squirrel. Rabies is only spread through contact with saliva or mucus. 

However, if you find yourself in the vicinity of a squirrel that is behaving strangely or has symptoms of rabies, it is essential to take precautions. This includes avoiding contact with the animal and calling for help. If you’re ever in doubt about the health of a squirrel, err on the side of caution and avoid touching or handling it.

Treatment for Squirrel Bites

Since squirrels have not been found to transmit rabies to humans, it is easy to treat their bite. If the bite is not severe, wash the wound with soap and water. You may also need antibiotics if there is an infection present. 

Signs and Symptoms of Rabies in Squirrels

Squirrels are one of the animals that can carry rabies. Rabies is a virus that can be fatal to humans and animals, so it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of rabies. 

Rabid squirrels should always be killed if caught, as they can spread the disease to other animals or humans. Always wear gloves when handling infected wildlife, and use caution when disposing of carcasses – consider getting them tested first. 

Contact your local animal control officer for advice if you see any unusual behavior in a squirrel (such as running around in circles). In the meantime, know the signs and symptoms of rabies so you can take appropriate precautions.

Acting Strangely or Cowering

If you encounter a squirrel acting strangely or aggressively, it’s essential to contact a vet immediately. Rabies can be spread through saliva and blood contact, so it is essential to wash your hands and avoid any further contact if you encounter an animal. Additionally, cowering or hiding could also mean rabies symptoms are present.

Unusual Noises

Unusual vocalizations (cries, howls) indicate rabies in a mammal and should be taken seriously. These cries can alert other animals in the area about the virus and may lead them to become infected, too – so it’s essential to get out of its way if you hear such noises! 

Other Symptoms

If you see any of the following symptoms in a squirrel, it is vital to check it out: acting abnormally crazy or violent; exhibiting extreme aggression or fear; not eating or drinking usually; dying unexpectedly without apparent signs of injury/illness, etc.

What Rabies Is and How It Is Transmitted

Rabies is a virus spread through an infected animal’s saliva. In the United States, rabies is most commonly found in wild animals, such as raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats. 

However, rabies can also be found in domestic animals, such as cats and dogs. Contact your health care provider immediately if you are bitten or scratched by an animal with rabies. In addition, rabies vaccines are available and typically require a few doses for protection against the disease.

What the CDC Says About Rabies

According to the Centers for Disease Control, rabies is most commonly transmitted from bats to humans. However, rabies outbreaks in squirrels are usually limited to rural areas and don’t occur very often in urban areas. 

If a rabid squirrel bites you, the best action is to see a doctor as soon as possible for rabies treatment. Unfortunately, squirrels aren’t the leading carriers of rabies virus in the United States – raccoons and cats are more likely to carry it.

Treatment for Rabies

If a rabies-infected animal ever bites you, the best action is to seek treatment as soon as possible. However, there are several treatments available, including injections and vaccines. 

If diagnosed early enough, most people recover completely without any long-term effects. Unfortunately, rabies is a severe and life-threatening virus, so taking precautionary measures to prevent its spread is essential. The best way to do this is to avoid contact with wild animals in the first place.