A skunk from the Logan area of Quay County and a skunk from south of Roswell in Chaves County both tested positive for rabies, according to a press release Tuesday from the New Mexico Department of Health.
The skunk near Logan was found last week in a dog pen and had been killed by several dogs, said Paul Ettestad, the department’s public health veterinarian.
The skunk tested positive for rabies, he said.
Because the dogs had been vaccinated, they were given booster shots by a local veterinarian, Ettestad said.
Otherwise, they would have had to be euthanized, he said.
Rabies is a fatal disease if it is not treated before symptoms develop.
Ettestad it is a good reminder to people to vaccinate their animals.
“Every few years the skunk population in eastern New Mexico increases, and we also see an increase in cases of rabies as skunks interact more with each other,” Ettestad said in the release.
“Pet and horse owners need to protect their animals by having them up-to-date on their rabies vaccines.
“This will also help to protect their children and other family members from rabies if their dog or cat tangles with a rabid skunk. Animals that are not vaccinated and are bitten by a rabid animal can be dangerous and needlessly expose people to rabies before they die,” Ettestand said in the release.