My Dog Licked a Bat What Should I Do?

By Julie •  Updated: 08/20/21 •  3 min read
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Dogs are known for being extremely curious fur babies! When they see something on the ground that looks interesting such as a bat on the ground. Some dogs may only give the bat a sniff, while others may try to lick or pick it up in their mouths. You just never know what a dog might do! But what happens if a dog licks a bat?

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Has your dog licked a bat? Are you worried your dog will become sick from licking the bat? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog does something like this.

In this article, we’ll take a look at bats and whether or not they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What are Bats?

Bats are flying mammals from the order Chiroptera. Bats have a membrane between their limbs, which is used to help them fly. Did you know that bats can maneuver more than birds? Who knew?

These flying mammals are found around the world, with over 1,400 species! There are bats that eat fruits, such as megabats (like flying foxes in Australia), and then there are bats that eat insects and use echolocation to find their prey (these are microbats). And then there are vampire bats, which feed on the blood of animals.

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Bats are great for the planet as they provide many useful functions such as pollinating plants, eating insects, and more. But what happens if a dog licks a bat?

Bats & Dogs

In North America, some bats are known to carry rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the brain, along with a long list of symptoms.

It is possible for a dog to become infected with rabies even from licking a bat. However, there’s only a very small chance of this happening. The reason for this is that rabies can only be transmitted through saliva, open wounds (rare), or transmitted through brain tissue. Rabies can’t be transmitted through the air, only lives a short time in the open air, and only survives in dead animals for 48 hours.

If your dog licked a bat that had no open wounds, and the bat did not bite your dog, then the chances are low your dog could sick. However, we would still recommend calling your vet for advice, even if your dog is up to date with his rabies shots.

So, if your dog has licked a bat, then do call the vet. Chances are your fur baby will be just fine, but it’s best to err on the side of caution.

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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