The following is a report filed with the Texas Department of State Health Services. This information is provided here to inform the public. There can be many complications when encountering wild animals. These complication are even greater when the animal species is know to carry rabies. Please forward any questions to the contact information provided.
A gentleman in Bowie County had been out for supper with his wife. They came home and he went into the bedroom to change into his slippers. After he got settled into his slippers he looked down because he noticed a motion at his feet. There was a skunk in his bedroom standing between his feet commencing to attacking his pant leg. In the process of arguing with the man’s pant leg, the skunk managed to scrape the top of his foot with its very sharp teeth. He shook the skunk off and told his wife to get up on the bed away from the skunk. He told her to move quietly in hopes the skunk would not spray. The skunk must have noticed she got up on the bed because it too tried to get up on the bed with her! The man tried to shoo the skunk out of the room. His wife got his shotgun for him and he used the barrel to prod the skunk down the hall towards the open front door. The skunk was reluctant to go through the open door and kept trying to run back into other rooms of the house. Finally they got the skunk outside where the bite victim shot the skunk 5 times with a shotgun until it quit walking. He said it never sprayed. The victim called 911 for assistance and they told him they did not handle such calls. At some point the paramedics showed up to take the man to the hospital. They bagged the skunk and took it along. Once at the hospital, the paramedics were told that the skunk had to stay outside. The hospital personnel did as they were previously instructed and they called the local law enforcement to report the bite incident. Unfortunately no one ever came out to take a bite report, and the where bouts of the suspect skunk are unknown. However, due to the experience and knowledge of the hospital staff, the patient was started on post exposure prophylaxis that evening. He has had his Day 3 injection and is feeling fine so far.
Melinda Hergert, DVM, MVPH, PhD
Regional Zoonosis Control Veterinarian
Region 4/5 N
2521 W. Front St.
Tyler, Texas 75702