A rabid skunk has been reported in Piscataway after it was seen attacking a pet dog in the township.
According to a press release from the Middlesex County Office of Health Services, on Jan. 14, the skunk was found in the area of Patron Court and Nelson Place in Piscataway after it was seen attacking a dog.
The animal was tested at the New Jersey Department of Health Laboratory, where it tested positive for the disease.
It is the first rabid animal to be reported in Piscataway and in Middlesex County in 2013, according to the release.
The dog was currently inoculated against rabies, and its owner has been advised to have it vaccinated again, and to speak to a physician, the release said.
Rabies information flyers are to be distributed by the county in the area of where the skunk was found.
The Middlesex County Office of Health Services has issued the following rabies prevention guidelines:
- Iimmediately report a bite from a wild or domestic animal to your local healthdepartment. Wash animal bite wounds thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after the bite. Contamination of open cuts or scratches with saliva of potentially rabid animals should also be washed off immediately. Consult a physician as soon as possible.
- Immediately report any wild animal showing signs of unusual behavior. An infected animal may: move slowly, act tame, appear sick, have problems swallowing, have a lot of saliva or increased drooling, act aggressive, have difficulty moving or paralysis, and bite at everything if excited.
- Be sure that all family pets are up to date on their rabies vaccination. If unsure please call your veterinarian. Call your local health department for free rabies vaccination clinic availability.
- Animal proof your home and yard. Make sure all garbage containers have tight fitting lids, do not leave pet food or water outside, do not allow rainwater to collect in outdoor containers or equipment and keep yard free of garbage and debris.
- Do not feed or handle wild animals.
- Avoid contact with stray animals or pets other than yourown.
- Try to prevent your pets from coming into contact with wild animals.
- Screen off vents to attics and other areas that could provide shelter for bats.