ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Residents in a south Abilene neighborhood are being warned after a dog was found playing with a rabid bat.

The bat was found on April 13 in Abilene’s Mesquite Forest neighborhood off Queen Ann’s Lace in the Wylie area of town.

City officials say the dog who was playing with the bat was fully vaccinated and is not sick or considered a harm to any humans or other animals in the area.

No additional infections have been reported in connection to this rabid bat.

The City of Abilene has provided the following information on rabies:

Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the central nervous system. The virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals, most commonly after being bitten by a rabid animal. Rabies infection can only be treated through a series of shots administered by a healthcare professional, and anyone potentially infected with rabies must seek immediate care as the virus may be untreatable once rabies symptoms are present.

Signs of rabies in animals include abnormal behavior such as nocturnal animals being active during the day, approaching humans or other animals, difficulty with movement, and unusual sounds. A wild animal that allows you to approach or handle it is likely ill or injured and will bite in self-defense. 

Abilene Animal Services offers these tips concerning exposure to rabies:

  • Do not feed, handle, or touch wild animals such as bats, skunks, and raccoons.
  • Teach children to stay away from wild or deceased animals.
  • Do not allow pets to roam freely, as free-roaming increases their chance of exposure without your knowledge.
  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccination current.
  • Immediately contact a veterinarian if your pet is bitten or scratched by a wild animal.
  • Consult with a physician immediately after possible rabies exposure.
  • Report all animal bites to animal control authorities; the biting animal must be quarantined or tested for rabies.