Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s fourth and fifth rabies cases of 2019.
On Wednesday (July 24th) Animal Services responded to a call in Maiden concerning two dogs exposed to a skunk. The skunk was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services Friday (July 26th) that the skunk tested positive for rabies.
Because both dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations, Animal Services advised their owner to ensure they received booster vaccines following the incident. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals current on their rabies vaccination should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.
On June 11th, rabies was confirmed in a feral cat in Hickory.
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. People who encounter an animal with any of these symptoms should avoid contact with the animal and report it to Catawba County Animal Services at 828-464-7686. Pet owners who suspect their pet had contact with a rabid animal are also urged to call Animal Services.
Rabies is a fatal neurological disease that can affect any warm-blooded animal. North Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats & ferrets four months old or older be vaccinated against rabies. One shot is not enough; rabies vaccinations must be kept current. A one-year shot is followed by a three-year shot one year later.
While the rabies symptoms listed here are important, it's also true that animals who have been exposed to rabies may have the disease but symptoms have not yet become evident; so it's important to avoid contact with wild animals who may have the disease.
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