A rabid bat has been discovered at the Tyler Zoo, and veterinarians are urging pet owners to vaccinate their animals.
TYLER, TX (KTRK) — After a bat fell out of the sky at the Caldwell Zoo and tested positive for rabies, local vets are urging you to make sure your pets are vaccinated.
Caldwell Zoo's Dr. Joy Neely, DVM, says the zoo receives a lot of visitors because of its open-top architecture, but this bat stood out like a sore thumb. She thinks it's strange the bat was observed during the day because bats are nocturnal and the zoo doesn't have a bat display.
The unidentified bat was discovered after brushing up against a guest's shoe and then falling to the ground, according to Neely.
The zoo workers secured the bat and sent it for rabies testing, which "sadly" came back positive, according to Neely. No one on our team was bitten or exposed.
Bats are omnipresent at Caldwell Zoo, according to Dr. Neely, and "there's nothing to worry about, but if you come across one, be careful, don't touch it.
The vast abundance of wild animals in East Texas, according to Dr. Gary Spence of Spence and White Veterinary Hospital, makes it even more crucial to get your dogs vaccinated.
Coons carry disease, skunks carry rabies and other diseases, armadillos carry hepatitis, says one resident, but bats are our biggest problem.
According to Dr. Spence, approximately 432 bats in Smith County tested positive for the virus last year.
Rabies isn't just a disease that affects animals. It's a zoonotic disease, which means it may transfer from animals to people. Dr. Spence stated, In general, Rabies has just one outcome: death. That is something that no one, including humans, will be able to overcome.
He claims that if a domestic animal tests positive for rabies, the disease can be transmitted to people via saliva and cause brain damage.
Prevention is crucial, Dr. Spence stated, emphasizing the need of immunizations.
A rabies vaccine usually lasts 1 to 3 years, depending on the county. Smith County, according to Dr. Spence, is a once-a-year vaccine county because to the rabies problem.
If you've been bitten and think you've contracted the disease, see your doctor right once.