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Rabies Does Exist!

Posted by lhvs on October 2, 2013

Rabies does exist!

   We received an interesting call from a client about an aggressive fox that attacked her dogs. The morning of the call the worried owner was putting the bigger dogs in their outdoor kennels when a fox tried to attack them. The fox initially attempted to attack Bear and Harley (125 and 70 pound dogs) through their kennels. The fox then focused his attention on Miss Pixie, the smallest of the dogs weighing only 10 pounds, who was doing her morning routine outside.  She was attacked and drug through the yard by her back legs. Once the two of them became separated Miss Pixie ran to the house. Bear, Harley, Miss Pixie, and Zasha all came into the clinic the morning of the attack. Rabies vaccines were immediately given to all dogs exposed and an exam was performed to thoroughly check puncture wounds sustained from the fox. Thankfully they were all current on their rabies vaccinations. Every state has a rabies management protocol to follow for suspected animal and/or human exposure to the rabies virus. In this case the owners reside in New York state so the veterinarians followed the state's protocol. New York state declares if a vaccinated animal is exposed to a suspected rabid animal the animal must be given a rabies vaccination immediately, the director of health must be notified, and the suspect must be under strict confinement for 45 days. If your animal is not up to date on their rabies vaccine the outcome may be very different; in the worst case scenario death of the family pet and human exposure may occur.

   The dogs were confined at home and monitored for behavioral changes. The fox was put down and tested for rabies by the New York state equivalent of Game Commission.

The fox tested positive for rabies.

   Rabies vaccination is required by law for a reason. An owner can be fined a large amount for every day their pet is overdue for their rabies vaccine. If your pet is not properly vaccinated against rabies it puts you and everyone around you at risk. If you ever suspect a rabid animal in your area call the appropriate Game Commission or DEC. Always wear gloves, use proper protection, and seek medical attention if you are ever in a situation involving rabies. For more information please visit any of the following websites: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/rabies/fact_sheet.htm