Muskrat Diseases

Zoonotic Diseases are diseases that can pass from animals to people. There are several avenues through which this can happen. Some of the most common methods of transmission include: Fecal-oral, respiratory, direct contact, penetrating wound, and vector-borne diseases.

The following are diseases that can be transmitted from muskrats to people. Understanding these diseases and how they are  transferred can help you avoid exposure.


Tularemia, most notably associated with cottontails, is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. 

The bacterium is typically spread by ticks, deer flies, or contact with infected animals. It may also be spread by drinking contaminated water or breathing in contaminated dust. It does not spread directly between people. Diagnosis is by blood tests or cultures of the infected site.

To avoid contracting Tularemia:

– Avoid bites by arthropods and wear insect repellent

– Use rubber gloves when skinning or handling animals; especially rabbits

– Do not drink, bathe, swim, or work in untreated water where wild animals are known to be infected

– Cook the meat of wild rabbits and rodents thoroughly before eating it