With spring here, we will start to see an increased amount of wildlife coming out of hibernation. Some of this wildlife may be carrying Rabies, which is a deadly disease.
In 2018, 40 wild critters tested positive for rabies in Connecticut and 53 tested positive in Rhode Island.
So far from January 1, 2019- February 28.2019 three raccoons have tested positive for the disease.
Why should you be cautious of this disease?
Rabies is a Zoonotic disease, meaning that humans and animals can contract the disease. Rabies is contracted through the saliva of an infected animal encountering an open wound (i.e. a scratch or a bite). While most cases of rabies may be contracted from a wild animal, it is not unheard of to see a stray cat or dog spread the virus.
You may have heard in the news recently that a bobcat in Baltic, CT attacked a man on a golf course and a horse down the street. This bobcat tested positive for Rabies.
The Rabies virus kills approximately 2 human beings and 400-500 domestic pets in the US every year.
Worldwide, not every country has access to rabies vaccinations human or animal, so we should be taking advantage of our opportunity to prevent this devastating disease.
Just because your pet stays indoors, does not mean it won’t be exposed to rabies. There have been cases where a bat or other wild animal have gotten into a home which created a possible exposure.
There are certain species of animals that commonly carry the Rabies virus which include:
Skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats. So, if you have an indoor only cat that has never seen a wild animal before, you should still rabies vaccinate your pet- in fact it’s the law.
If your dog or cat comes home with an open wound and you can not be sure if it came from another animal, contact a veterinarian and booster his/her rabies vaccine just to be safe. Your pet may be up to date on it’s rabies vaccine, but when it comes to human life you can never be too careful.
For more information about Rabies visit these websites:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html
American Humane Society: https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/rabies-facts-prevention-tips/
2018 rabies statistics in CT: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/dph/infectious_diseases/Rabies/RabiesTownCounty2018.pdf?la=en
2018 rabies statistics in RI: http://www.health.ri.gov/programs/detail.php?pgm_id=1087
2019 rabies statistics in CT: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Departments-and-Agencies/DPH/dph/infectious_diseases/Rabies/currentrabiesstats.pdf?la=en
Contact us, your local animal clinic in West Greenwich, RI!