Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s eighth rabies case of 2019 following an incident in Newton. Previous cases reported to the county this year occurred in Claremont, Hickory, Maiden and Newton.
On October 31st, Animal Services responded to a call from a Newton resident whose dogs were exposed to a dead skunk. The skunk's remains were sent for testing to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services Monday (Nov. 4th) that the skunk tested positive for rabies.
Because the dogs’ owner had proof of current rabies vaccinations, the owner was advised to provide the dogs with a booster vaccine in accordance with state guidelines that animals with a prior rabies vaccination should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.
While signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth; it's really impossible to know if an animal may be rabid. The only true test involves the death of the animal and inspection of its brain matter. The best advice is to avoid wild animals--even those who may appear normal. People who encounter an injured or sick animal should avoid contact with the animal and report it to Animal Services. The number of Catawba County Animal Services is 828-464-7686. Pet owners who suspect their pet had contact with a rabid animal are also urged to call Animal Services.
So far this year, there have been eight confirmed cases of rabies in Catawba County, four in Lincoln, 14 in Gaston and 13 in Mecklenburg.
North Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats & ferrets four months old or older be vaccinated against rabies.
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