DENVER (AP) — A bull that died of rabies in Weld County is the fourth confirmed case of Colorado livestock infected by the virus this year, the state agriculture department announced.
The virus killed the bull on Friday, Nick Striegel, the department's assistant state veterinarian, told The Denver Post in remarks published Wednesday (http://tinyurl.com/lddbt5k ). The bull likely was bitten by a rabid animal such as a skunk, Striegel said.
Two horses in Weld County and one horse in Logan County tested positive for rabies earlier this year.
Given a high incidence of rabid skunks this year, the department urged owners of livestock — as well as pets — to discuss rabies vaccination with their veterinarians and to monitor their animals for changes in behavior.
"Animal owners need to primarily look for any dramatic nervous system changes such as muscle tremors, weakness, lameness, stumbling, or paralysis," said State Veterinarian Keith Roehr.
Other alarm signs include wild mammals that show no fear of people and pets; nocturnal animals active in daylight; and bats found on the ground, in swimming pools, or caught by pets, the department said. Rabid carnivores that include skunks, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, dogs and cats can try to bite people, pets and livestock.
Rabies can be spread to humans, usually through bites and infected saliva.
In Larimer County, five children and three adults were bitten or scratched by a rabid kitten and were undergoing treatment, state health officials announced Saturday. The county said it was the first time since 1968 that it had confirmed that a domestic cat was infected.
The kitten bit a veterinarian while being examined for neurological problems, the county said. It was euthanized.