An alpaca in Douglas County is one of 32 confirmed cases of rabies infection in Colorado, health officials say.
Although it is more common for skunks, bats, raccoons and foxes to contract the disease, rabies can also affect pets and livestock, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Tri-County Health Department.
Last year, there were 165 cases of rabies confirmed by laboratory. Two were dogs, while 93 were skunks, 63 were bats and 7 were other wild animals, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Of the 32 animals of this year that have so far tested positive for rabies, 12 were known or strongly suspected of exposing 33 domestic pets, 7 livestock animals and two people to the disease.
Rabies is mainly spread by saliva through the bite of a rabid animal. Once the symptoms appear, there is no cure and the infection is fatal. Those who have been exposed can receive medical treatment to prevent the disease.
The health department recommends routine vaccinations for pets and livestock.