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Pet quarantine issued after skunk tests positive for rabies in Big Horn County

Non-vaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets under quarantine
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 00:05:57-05

A skunk has tested positive for rabies in Big Horn County, Montana livestock officials announced Tuesday, leading to a 60-day quarantine for all dogs, cats and ferrets in the county.

The Montana Department of Livestock reported the case last Tuesday, Feb. 12, and noted no cat, dog or human exposure has been reported. It's the first non-bat rabies exposure reported in Montana in 2020.

The quarantine is in effect from Feb. 12 to April 12. The terms of the quarantine include:

All non-vaccinated or not currently vaccinated dogs, cats, and ferrets in Big Horn County are to remain in the county for a period of not less than sixty (60) days from the date of the last known terrestrial rabies.
Any dog, cat or ferret in Big Horn County having been properly immunized against rabies for the first time, may be released from the quarantine area after a period of twenty-eight (28) days from the date of vaccination.
Any dog, cat or ferret in Big Horn County that is past-due on the rabies vaccine, may be immediately released from the quarantine area following administration of a booster vaccine.
Written notification from the Montana Department of Livestock will be provided when this quarantine is released.

Rabies is a fatal disease in mammals that is nearly 100 percent preventable in domestic animals through a vaccine. Big Horn County's last documented case was in 2014.

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 to ensure potential rabies exposure are assessed for risk and managed accordingly.

For further information contact: Anna Forseth, Program Veterinarian: ph. 406-444-2939.