any threat of rabies?

Submitted by Pacemakr on 11/27/99. ( )

I've been wondering... With all the diseases foxes and racoons carry, is there any threat of the disease transmitting to the taxidermist (namely me)? Should I wear latex gloves on certain animals prior to tanning? I got blood poisoning from a caribou once, but I don't want to be paranoid beyond reason.

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This response submitted by George Roof on 11/27/99. ( )

I always double-glove up when I'm skinning raccoons, skunks, and foxes. These are the major carriers of rabies. We accept "road kills", but never before freezing the carcass.

Rabies is a neurological disease spread through saliva entering the body through cuts or mucous membranes. It is very slow acting and depends on body heat for survival. (Possums seldom get rabies since their circulation is so slow.) Animals frozen are rendered harmless because as soon as the virus drops below about 60 degrees, it perishes.

We still double-glove when we skin them, because of the other viral and bacteriological diseases carried in the feces of the animals. Can't be too safe around these critters.


This response submitted by dak on 11/27/99. ( )

A vet once told me that the virus is killed by freezing ...but you don't want to prove that wrong!

Dr. Clark from the Disease control center ATL. GA.

This response submitted by John C on 11/28/99. ( )

Dr. Clark told me recently, that all these viruses were not killed by freezing. They can still be transmitted after a six month freeze at 30 below zero F.

I have had the RABIES pre-exposure three shot series, Plague shots. Lyme Vaccine is still up in the air. If your going to get into taxidermy remember health should come first. Animals from out west can even carry ANTHRAX.

Dr. Bourne from Arkansas recently did studies on ARMADILLOS and yes the carry HANSON'S VIRUS also known as leporsy, this can be threeted with anti-biotics. While most virus do depend on warmth of animal for survival, many can lay dormant for a period.

In addition contact your local public health unit, they may be able to provide the shots you need at far less cost than your Doctor. JOHN C


This response submitted by Pacemakr on 11/30/99. ( )

All good sounding advise. I'll check with state's assoc. and medical service here. In the meantime, time for me to quit being stingy with the rubber gloves.

Forgot to mention the parisites.

This response submitted by John C on 12/1/99. ( )

Other than ticks and fleas. There are many infested animals that we deal with daliy that can be infected. Malaria is not a virus, it is a flaggett, a very small parisite, visable with only a microscope. Critters carrry it and we need to know how to deal with it. Yes this one is killed by freezing. Racoons carry a parasite that can eat the retina from your eye. Not ti mention the pin worms, hook worms, tape worms that can be picked up.

NO EATING OR DRINKING in the skinning and fleshing area.

Most of these when caught early enough can by treated with antibiotics. (DOXYCYCLINE)

Symptoms include low grade fevers (can appear as hot flashes) diarreha, vomiting. or just stomach cramps. Generally flu like symptoms that don't clear up in 3 to 5 days.

Gloves, clean skinning area (clean with bleach or soap).

Research your area and find out what are the most previlent there. John C

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