Rabies in Bats Is Difficult To SpotIn most creatures, from skunks to raccoons to dogs, rabies is fairly obvious. Foaming discharge from the eyes and mouth, a staggering gait, wet and matted hair, erratic wandering and self-mutilation are all common symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, bats show few to none of these signs, making rabies difficult to nearly impossible to diagnose in them without testing. If you see a bat, contact a wildlife removal company that can safely and humanely remove the creatures and bring them into a lab. If you or a loved one come into contact with a bat, you should go in for testing as well.
Signs of Rabies in BatsAs already mentioned, infection in bats can really only be confirmed in a laboratory setting. Clinical signs lab techs may look for include the following:
- Increased aggression and behaviour changes
- Disorientation and difficulty flying
- A staring expression
How Bats Spread RabiesRabies is spread through bats as it is through any other animal — through the saliva of an infected bat. Generally, spreading occurs when a bat bites a person or animal. However, if the saliva comes into contact with an open wound or the mucous membranes, such as the mouth, lips, nostrils, ears or eyelids, a person or animal may be at risk as well.
Health Risks of RabiesRabies is a very dangerous and often fatal condition for humans. Fortunately, there are vaccines that protect against rabies for both animals and humans. Moreover, if a person receives treatment soon after exposure, the disease is preventable. However, once signs of rabies appear, the condition becomes untreatable. In past human cases of the disease, it has been fatal. Symptoms of rabies in humans differ from those in animals. Human symptoms include headaches, anxiety, fever, spasms of the swallowing muscles and difficulty breathing. In animals, rabies may present in the following ways:
- Increased aggression
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty eating, drinking or breathing