For any questions and concerns about protecting your pet from rabies, you are always more than welcome to contact the I-20 Animal Medical Center.
Arlington, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2013 -- As of July 2013, the Texas Department of State Health Services has reported a total of 377 cases of positive rabies (mostly in the North Central Texas area) including animals such as foxes, dogs, cows, cats, bats, goats, horses, raccoons, and skunks. Recently, it’s been reported that five people located within the upscale Dallas-Fort Worth area are receiving treatment for having contracted Rabies from a dog that was tested positive. All stemming from the same dog, 3 of the victims were bitten whereas the other two became exposed through other means of contact. It is believed that the dog may have been infected from other stray cats found in the neighborhood.
With these recent outbreaks, Arlington and Fort Worth veterinary hospital, I-20 Animal Medical Center would like to inform residents of Northern Texas to heed the following precautions.
First and foremost, most cases of rabies infection occur from contact with stray animals and wildlife. The only means through which rabies can transfer from an animal to a human is through saliva. The saliva of the infected can be transmitted from animal to animal and to human through direct biting, contact of saliva into skin scratches, abrasions, open wounds or direct contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
However, contact with a rabid animal’s blood, urine, feces and even petting is not considered exposure.
When exposed, the time between the initial exposure and actual onset of the symptoms in animals varies, but generally within 3-to-12 weeks after exposure symptoms will appear. Once the virus reaches the brain tissue and symptoms occur, the animal usually dies within 7 to 10 days.
Primary symptoms for rabid animals are similar to flu-like symptoms, with general lethargy and discomfort. As the disease progresses, behavioral change, aggression, excessive drooling and difficulty with eating, drinking and walking are very common.
If bitten by any animal, it’s advised to wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible and seek immediate medical attention. It’s also important to report the bite to authorities.
To help prevent your dog or cat from the onset of rabies you should:
- Have your Puppies and Kittens vaccinated for rabies 12 to 16 weeks of age.
- Have a rabies booster vaccination given one year after the first vaccination.
- Have your pets vaccinated once a year, or up to once every three years depending upon the guidelines of your local animal control agency.
Also, be careful where you let your pets roam—avoid contact with wildlife. Should you approach a sick or injured animal, do not touch and instead contact your local animal control agency for help. And most importantly, do not feed wild animals.
For any questions and concerns about protecting your pet from rabies, you are always more than welcome to contact the I-20 Animal Medical Center. For more info please visit: http://www.i20animal.com
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