Rabid bat found in Belterra

Mexican free-tailed bat

Staff Reports


A rabid bat was found at the 100 block of Canterbury Drive in the Belterra Subdivision on May 11.  Hays County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a dead bat call and found the animal, on the ground, next to a residential driveway. The bat was taken to the Department of State Health Services and tested positive for the rabies virus.

Anyone who may have had contact with this animal, or who have had physical contact with bats in the area, are asked to call the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Control Unit at (512) 393-7896 or The Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control at (254) 778- 6744. Hays County residents are asked to use extreme caution in their contact with bats and report any suspect animals.

This is the third confirmed report of a rabid bat in Hays County, and the fourth rabies incident reported in Hays County this year. The other two rabid bats were found in Wimberley (at St. Stephens Episcopal School), and Buda (at the Hays Youth Baseball Softball Association).

The fourth incident involved a cat in San Marcos, which died after biting its owner and family dog on Sunday May 6. The cat was a family pet which lived both indoors and outdoors. It showed progressive symptoms within 24 hours: unusual and erratic behavior, aggression, excessive salivation, vomiting, then death.

An animal Protection officer was dispatched to speak with the owner after she left the emergency room at Central Texas Medical Center. The cat died later that Sunday and the owner took it to the San Marcos Animal Shelter for rabies testing. The cat tested positive for the strain of rabies carried by bats.

The family dog has begun its 90-day isolation at a veterinary clinic, and the owner is undergoing post-rabies-exposure treatment.

In 2017, the Hays County had 27 confirmed cases of rabies, 22 of them in bats, two in foxes and one in a skunk. In 2016, the county saw a total of 20.

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