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Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

Second rabid skunk found on Ann Arbor's West Side

By Juliana Keeping

A skunk that had a run-in with a dog on Ann Arbor’s West Side has tested positive for rabies, the Washtenaw County Public Health Department announced today.


From the Grand Rapids Press

It’s the second skunk to be found with the fatal virus in Washtenaw County since 2005 and the fifth animal this year.

Susan Cerniglia, the public information officer for the health department, said the numbers are typical for this time of year.

The skunk is the second to test positive for rabies following an encounter with a dog on the West Side, Cerniglia said. There was no human contact with either skunk.

It’s a good reminder to make sure pets’ vaccinations are up to date, Cerniglia said.

Two rabid skunks on the West Side does not indicate an outbreak, she added.

“If you’re talking about the city of Ann Arbor versus outlying areas, there are more people and more chances for encounters,” she said.

Read more about the symptoms and signs of rabies here.

To make a report or ask questions about an encounter with a potentially rabid animal, the health department can be reached at 734-544-6700. Evenings, weekends and holidays, a communicable disease on-call nurse is available at 734-891-4327.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 1:23 a.m.

For those of you wanting more details ... the dog killed the skunk in a fenced backyard in the 500 block of 4th Street. Fortunately, the dog was up to date with Rabies vaccination, and received an additional booster shortly after the encounter. Skunk was then taken for testing. From the information provided by the health department, simply being sprayed by a skunk will not transmit the virus. There are plenty more skunks in the neighborhood.


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

More details please. Was the skunk killed by the dog? Is that how it was taken in to be tested? Can the dog get rabies if he just licks blood from a skunk he has bitten rather than receiving a bite from the skunk? What if he's sprayed - does that count as infected bodily fluids?


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

so when are we going to regulate rabid skunks?


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 10:46 a.m.

They are probably just spending the fall in Ann Arbor while serving their five (football) game suspensions at The Olentangy Stench University. Check the skunks for tattoos.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

Where did it happen? "The West Side" doesn't narrow it down much. Also, why is "The West Side capitalized? The "Old West Side" is a place that I would think qualifies as a proper noun, but "The West Side" is a generality, not an actual place-name.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Can you give us a street or cross-street? I live about one block from where the first one was found. Thank you.