Most people have a genuine fear of rodents specifically rats and mice. They have been accused of spreading all sorts of diseases from the black plague to salmonella. But today’s question is, do rodents carry rabies? The CDC has found that while rats, mice and other small rodents are capable of carrying and spreading the disease, they are almost never found with rabies. The CDC doesn’t even feel its necessary to get a rabies vaccination if you or your pet has been bitten.
WHY HAVEN'T WE FOUND RODENTS WITH RABIES?
Why haven’t we found that rats and mice have rabies? The scientific community is currently unsure. One theory suggests that the reason this never happens is because the spread of rabies requires a bite, and these smaller rodents don’t usually survive a bite from a larger animal that would have the disease. But still, as many as 50,000 people suffer from rat bites in the United States alone.
But just because these rodents haven’t been found to carry rabies, that doesn’t make them disease free. Rat-bite fever is a rare, but still occurring, disease. Many other diseases can be caused by coming into contact with rodent urine, feces or saliva. If you or your pet comes into contact with the bodily fluids of a rat or mouse, it is important to seek medical attention. If you can provide the offending animal, this can also be helpful.
RODENTS AND DISEASE
Even though we are, as far as we know, safe from rabies from rats and mice, there are plenty of other animals that carry the disease. Bats, skunks, woodchucks, raccoons, coyotes, or foxes can all carry this disease. Rabies is a potentially fatal disease, so if you or your pet come into contact with one of these animals and gets bitten, its very important to see a doctor or veterinarian as soon as possible.