When it comes to avoiding wildlife, even prey animals should be off limits — for you and your pet.
Rabbits, rodents and hares are all susceptible to a bacterial infection called tularemia. It’s also highly infectious to people, dog, cats and other animals. Tularemia acts like the flu in people and causes fever and belly pain in animals.
The bacteria to blame can enter the body through the skin, eyes, mouth or respiratory tract. Infections often spread through tick bites or direct contact with infected animals — alive or dead. That commonly occurs while hunting and dressing wild animals. Less common routes of infection include eating rare meat, inhaling contaminated dust or drinking impure water.
So, protect yourself from tularemia by steering clear of wildlife — and make sure your animals do the same.