Can You Get Rabies from a Squirrel

Can You Get Rabies from a Squirrel

Have you ever wondered if those cute and fuzzy squirrels that run around your backyard could give you rabies?

Many people are curious about this, and knowing the facts is important to stay safe.

Rabies is a serious disease affecting animals, including squirrels, and can be passed on to humans.

But don’t worry too much because getting rabies from a squirrel is rare.

We’ll find out the chances of getting rabies from squirrels, how to stay safe, and what to do if you encounter a squirrel that seems sick or behaves strangely.

If you love watching squirrels play and want to protect your family, learn more about the risks and precautions regarding rabies and squirrels.

Can Squirrels Contract Rabies?

Can Squirrels Contract Rabies?

When discussing the interactions between humans and wildlife, particularly with animals as ubiquitous as squirrels, an intriguing question arises: considering squirrel meat for consumption.

It’s a topic that merges the love for squirrels as food with practical health concerns like rabies.

Squirrels, those adorable and curious creatures we often see in our yards and parks, can carry rabies, but it’s uncommon.

Rabies is a contagious illness mainly affecting mammals; squirrels fall into this category.

So, the chances of encountering one with the disease are extremely low. Rabies mainly spreads through the saliva of infected animals, usually through bites or scratches.

While squirrels can transmit rabies, they are not significant disease carriers and rabies in squirrels is rare.

What is Rabies?

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a deadly viral disease caused by the rabies virus, a member of the Lyssavirus family. This illness mainly affects mammals, including humans.

The virus attacks the central nervous system, causing severe neurological symptoms. Sadly, rabies is almost always fatal once these symptoms show up.

Rabies mainly spreads through the saliva of infected animals, often through bites or scratches. Bats, raccoons, skunks, dogs, and cats can carry rabies.

If an animal, especially one you think might have rabies, bites or scratches you, it’s crucial to get immediate medical help.

Symptoms of Rabies in Humans

Rabies symptoms in people follow stages. At first, you might feel like you have the flu with a fever, headache, and weakness.

As the illness worsens, you might have problems with your brain and nerves, such as confusion, agitation, seeing things that aren’t there, and even becoming paralyzed.

A unique sign of rabies is fear of water, which makes swallowing painful due to throat spasms.

Once you show these symptoms, rabies is almost always deadly.

That’s why it’s super important to get medical help immediately if you’ve been in contact with an animal that might have rabies.

How Can Squirrels Contract Rabies?

Squirrels can catch rabies if they come into contact with animals that have rabies or their spit.

Rabies usually spreads through bites when the infected spit enters another animal’s bloodstream.

Squirrels might get rabies if they’re bitten by a rabid animal like a raccoon or a bat. It’s uncommon for squirrels to have rabies, and they don’t usually carry the virus.

Rabies in squirrels mostly happens in separate cases. It’s crucial to be careful around any wild animal to lower the chance of getting rabies.

Is Rabies Possible from a Squirrel Scratch?

Rabies is usually spread when an animal bites you, but it’s also possible to get it from scratch if the scratch is deep enough to break your skin and the animal’s spit gets into your blood.

However, getting rabies from a scratch is less likely than getting it from a bite.

If a squirrel or any animal that might have rabies scratches you, you should do the same things as if it had bitten you: clean the wound, use antiseptic, see a doctor, and consider getting rabies shots if a doctor recommends them.

It’s important to act fast to stop rabies symptoms if the animal has the disease.

Can Flying Squirrels Transmit Rabies?

Can Flying Squirrels Transmit Rabies?

Yes, flying squirrels, like other squirrels, can have rabies, but the chances of this happening are usually low.

They aren’t usually big carriers of the rabies virus, but any wild mammal could get rabies if they’re bitten by an animal that already has it.

The risk of getting rabies from flying squirrels is quite small compared to animals such as raccoons or bats, which are more likely to spread rabies.

Is it Possible for Squirrels to Transmit Rabies to Humans?

Squirrels, even flying ones, can pass rabies to people, but it rarely happens.

For this to occur, a squirrel with rabies has to bite a person, and the virus needs to get into the person’s blood through the bite wound.

Most squirrels don’t have rabies, so you’ll unlikely come across one that does.

Is Rabies Transmitted Through Contact with Squirrels?

You won’t usually catch rabies just by touching a squirrel or its fur.

Rabies spreads mostly through the saliva of infected animals, and you usually need a bite or scratch to get the virus into your body.

But it’s smart to avoid wild animals like squirrels to lower the chance of getting hurt or sick.


The chances of contracting rabies from a squirrel are extremely low. Squirrels, those small creatures, are not typical carriers of rabies.

This disease is primarily associated with bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

Squirrels tend to keep their distance from humans and are generally harmless if you spot a squirrel in your yard or at a park.

There’s no need to worry about rabies. Just enjoy observing them from a safe distance. It’s always wise to exercise caution around wild animals.

Suppose you notice a squirrel behaving strangely, like aggressively or stumbling. It’s best to steer clear and contact animal control.

Enjoy the wonders of nature, but prioritize your safety!

David Wilson
David Wilson, who has a Master’s in Agricultural Sciences from Texas A&M University, became part of our team in 2023. His expertise lies in innovative gardening technologies, particularly aeroponics, where he has over 8 years of experience. David’s prior roles include working as a research scientist for agricultural tech firms, focusing on sustainable food production. Moreover, David collaborated on urban farming initiatives and taught community gardening workshops. His hobbies include woodworking and exploring the outdoors.

Is It Ok to Keep a Bonsai Tree Indoors?

Previous article

Can You Have a Squirrel as a Pet

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Birds