Do Gophers Carry Rabies? | Everything You Want To Know

If you have been unfortunate enough to have spotted those ugly holes and tunnels in your yard, I hate to announce it but your yard has been visited by gophers. One can often mistake a hole dug by gopher to be a work of a land squirrel.
Gophers are rodents that are known for their extensive tunneling.
Gophers go by the name ‘pocket gophers’. Like the name rightly suggests, these critters have cheek pouches or pockets that go all the way back to its shoulders.
Strange enough?
Well, not so much. These pockets have the function of carrying around food.

Gophers are not your usual mice or rats that infest your house. They are slightly larger in size than the usual mouse and smaller than rats. With their stout built, they are designed to dug. They have strong sharp claws.

Where are gophers found?

They are found in North and Central America, especially around areas with loose and sandy soil which is easy to dig. A gopher lives in a burrow and those holes in your could possibly mean a gopher is living there with its family and if you are lucky enough, you might spot one emerging from its burrow.

Do Gophers Carry Rabies?

Gophers are capable of carrying rabies, yes. However, it’s very rare for a gopher to transmit rabies to humans. The reason behind this is that gophers are shy and timid animals and they hardly stray far from their burrows. These critters stay away from humans. Hardly do they come in close contact with a human or any other animal.
Although it is not common for gophers to spread rabies, yet it is always better to maintain a safe distance from these seemingly cute critters. The saliva of an infected gopher can easily transmit the disease to any human when came in contact.

Common Diseases Spread By Gophers

Just like any other rodent, a gopher can spread
• hantavirus
• leptospirosis
• plague
These are a few common diseases spread by Gophers. Gopher diseases are spread through body fluids. Once a human has been infected if bitten by a gopher, the particular human might observe symptoms such as fever, headaches, chills, muscle pains, and vomiting.

What animals can spread rabies?

Honestly speaking, the list is long and surprising. Not just dogs but even cats are capable of transmitting rabies to humans. And other than dogs and cats, infected monkeys, raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes are known to be the carrier of the disease. What is shocking is domestic far animals too are potential carriers. Bears, weasels,groundhogs, and other wild carnivores are too may spread rabies.
There is no treatment for this deadly disease. Once the symptoms start appearing, it’s almost sure for the infected human to die. The last stage of this disease is heart-wrenching for the near and dear ones of the patient. The symptoms include violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, hydrophobia, partial paralysis, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Final Words

Even though animal control and vaccination programs have cut down the risk of rabies in a number of regions all around the world. However, people who spend a prolonged period of time in places with high risk of rabies, are yet not safe. Various immunization programs have been introduced in different parts of the world. In the end, it is also the responsibility of the individuals to maintain a certain distance from these animals to keep the harmony alive.

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