Don’t let bats bug you or pets

It’s probably not Bruce Wayne flying around your backyard at night, it’s likely a bat.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But when your pet interacts with these flying mammals, there are some things you should be aware of says Debbi Alexander of Beacon Cat Hospital.

“Bats can carry rabies,” Alexander said.

Lately the cat hospital has heard from worried pet owners that their cats have caught bats. “They are just throwing (the dead bats) in the garbage,” said Alexander. “You don’t want that in the landfill.”

If you find a dead bat you can take it to your local veterinarian’s office and they will send it to Agriculture Canada for rabies testing.

“Collect it — protect yourself by wearing rubber gloves or using a plastic bag — and take it to the vet’s office in a container. The landfill is not the right solution,” she said.

“You usually do see rabid bats during the day,” said Alexander. “Last year we had a couple of incidents where bats flew into houses. They are a danger to people and their pets.”

She says about 10 per cent of bats carry rabies. “We do want to find out if they’re rabid, especially if people or animals have touched them. You can catch rabies and it can be fatal.”

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