Are armadillos dangerous to pets?

When most people hear the name armadillos, leprosy quickly comes to mind. This is a disease that produces very graphic mental images of disfigurement and suffering. In history, leprosy is a disease that has been misunderstood as many think it's hereditary while others view it as a punishment or curse. Leprosy is a disease that has been around through history, and it is a disease that is today closely associated with armadillos.

How it spreads
Leprosy is not so infectious, and it is usually transmitted through nose and mouth droplets when there is frequent and close contact. The organism that causes the disease is able to multiply very slowly, and the incubation period can take around five years while symptoms can take up to 20 years to make an appearance.

This is one of the main concerns that pet owners have in areas where there are armadillos. It is very uncommon to have a cat or dog get infected with leprosy. However, there have been leprosy cases reported for both cats and dogs. The animals that get affected will usually develop some kind of nodules under or in the skin. This is associated with the bacteria that are located in the cells.

The concern has been growing quite rapidly, especially in the USA where more cases of leprosy are being reported. Armadillo contact with humans has been linked with the disease.

Armadillo danger
Armadillos cannot be said to be a real danger to pets. However, it is important to always remember that they are still wild animals that need to be treated with the greatest caution as well as respect. On average, the armadillo cannot be considered to be dangerous. However, they can hurt pets with their claws if they are provoked. In most cases, the animal will run when it feels threatened. Pets, regardless of how small they are, should be pretty safe around armadillos.

It is, however, important to make sure that your pets stay as far away from armadillos as possible. This allows you to avoid any form of confrontation that might occur.

Go back to the How Do You Get Rid of Armadillos home page to read more about Are armadillos dangerous to cats, dogs, or other pets?

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