The Montana Department of Livestock reported the first case of terrestrial (non-bat) rabies in Missoula County.
The rabies-infected animal was a skunk captured in the Wye area of Missoula on Nov. 18. Earlier that day, a resident noticed the skunk acting abnormally and contacted animal control.
There is presently no known cat, dog or human exposures.
The Montana Department of Livestock has issued a 60-day county-wide quarantine for dogs, cats and ferrets.
Historically, rabies in Western Montana is seen almost exclusively in bats. The last two documented cases of terrestrial (non-bat) rabies west of the continental divide occurred in Missoula County in September of 2015 and November of 1996.
“At this time, areas west of the Continental Divide are not known to have rabies circulating in the skunk population. However, rabies is present in bat populations in Western Montana,” Anna Forseth, the Department of Livestock veterinarian said.
Residents are encouraged to report any contact between a pet and a wild animal, including skunks and bats, to animal control or the Department of Livestock.
For further information, call Forseth at 444-2939.