Can a dog get rabies from licking a dead skunk?

Posted on October, 19 at 5:39 pm |

I found my dog licking a dead skunk today, I don’t think he killed the skunk, but he does smell skunked. Could my dog have rabies or some other disease? Or any information regarding the overall situation please.

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8 Responses to “Can a dog get rabies from licking a dead skunk?”

  1. Aduial Says:

    Probably not. Rabies is transferred through a bite. Just keep an eye on him.

  2. SaveMB42Late Says:

    How long will the rabies virus remain alive in the body of a dead animal?

    The length of time that rabies remains alive in a dead animal depends primarily on the outside temperature. The virus could die within a few hours in warm weather and could stay alive for months in freezing temperatures.

    Could my dog or cat get rabies from a dead animal that had rabies?

    Yes, through an open wound or by chewing on the carcass. Have your vet administer a booster shot within five days. If your pet is unvaccinated, it must be confined for four months, or euthanized. You’re not always going to know what your pet has been up to while outside, so the best protection for both your pet and your family is for you to keep your pet current with its rabies shots.

  3. Ocimom Says:

    If he has a rabies shot, he won’t get rabies from the skunk by licking it. But if the skunk bit him when alive, you could have a problem.

    I’ve NEVER heard of a dog that went anywhere near a dead skunk. You’d better look up about how to get the skunk smell off your dog!

  4. Jasmer Says:


    I really doubt your dog will get rabies from the skunk unless he killed it himself.

    Which brings me to my next question–why is your dog not vaccinated? Rabies is fatal. The vaccine is 99.9% effective in completely preventing it, and it’s CHEAP. There is NO excuse to own an unvaccinated cat or dog, at all, period.

  5. Bobbie L Says:

    It is illegal to not keep your dog vaccinated, so therefore you’ve had your dogs rabies shot done. So, think about it! If your dog has been vaccinated for rabies, how will he get rabies? Rabies are transmitted through a bite, not from licking a dead skunk. How do you know that the skunk even had rabies?

  6. Pink Child Says:

    Yes but they may also need to be quarantined as the legal vaccine coverage period has lapsed. The sooner they are boostered the better.

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