Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

September 17, 2013

Rabid bat found on Solon Township garage floor

TRAVERSE CITY — Jill Erickson stopped for lunch at her Solon Township home and noticed a little brown bat crawling across the garage floor.

Erickson thought it highly unusual to see a bat in the middle of the day and feared it might have rabies.

So she scooped the limp creature into a shoe box, put it in a specimen bag, and shipped it off to the Michigan Department of Community Health for testing. She learned two days later — on Sept. 12 — that it indeed tested positive for rabies.

“I talk about vaccinations to my pet owners every day,” said Erickson, a veterinarian at VCA Cherry Bend Animal Hospital in Elmwood Township. “This whole incident really brings home to have all cats and dogs protected. It keeps our families protected, as well, since it’s something people can get.”

By law, a dog needs to be vaccinated at age 16 weeks and older. After the initial shot, it has to be vaccinated after one year and every three years thereafter. Any pet at risk of contact with a rabid animal should get a booster shot immediately and be observed for 45 days, she said.

There is no legal requirement to give cats a rabies vaccination, yet they are the most commonly infected domestic animal, Erickson said.

“With bats being the number one carrier, that puts indoor cats at just as high of risk since bats can easily make their way into the home,” she said.

Over a 10-year period, there have been a total of 23 domestic animals that have tested positive for rabies in Michigan, including 11 cats, said Kim Signs, who oversees rabies surveillance for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

“In terms of domestic animals, we very rarely have dogs and cats rabid in the state,” she said.

Rabid bats in northwest Michigan are rare. This is the first infected bat detected in Leelanau County this year. In 2012, Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties reported one bat each, and Benzie County had one rabid bat in 2011, she said.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl