Rabies

Rabies
The doctors and staff of University Animal Hospital of Greensboro, PLLC want everyone to be aware of the recent reports of rabid animals in our area. There have been multiple reports of rabid animals, primarily foxes and raccoons, in the Greensboro area over the past year. The most recent incidents were a raccoon on South Tremont Drive and one on Delmar Drive in Greensboro - both raccoons were confirmed to have rabies and had been in contact with a dog in the area.  There was another case identified earlier this year in McLeansville.

Rabies is a deadly virus carried most commonly by foxes, bats, skunks, and raccoons. The rabies virus is spread by saliva of infected animals, can infect domestic animals and humans, and is almost always fatal once symptoms begin. Symptoms of rabies include extreme aggression, seizures, odd behavior (like a usually nocturnal animal like a raccoon being out during the day), trouble swallowing, and even severe lethargy. Please do not approach any wild or domestic animal displaying any of these signs and call Animal Control immediately. If you or your pet is bitten or exposure is possible, please call Animal Control immediately and seek medical attention. If you are bitten, it is important to wash the wound with soap and water for 15 minutes and seek medical care. If you find a bat in your home, treat it as if it has bitten you as bats can inflict bites with little or no pain. Please call Animal Control to remove the bat. All exposures to bats and bites of unknown origin should be followed with rabies prophylaxis for humans and rabies boosters for pets immediately. If the animal is confirmed to be rabid, injections are available to prevent disease in humans. Never handle a dead animal with bare hands, especially if the rabies status is unknown.

All cats and dogs are required by law to be vaccinated for rabies after 4 months of age and every 1 to 3 years depending on the vaccine type for their entire lives. In North Carolina, any pet which is not vaccinated or current on vaccination and is exposed to rabies must be quarantined for 6 months at the owner’s expense or euthanized.

Important sources and more information available at:
Phone Number for Animal Control of Guilford County: 336-641-5990
http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/rabies.html
http://www.ciclt.net/sn/adm/editpage.aspx?ClientCode=ncvma&FileName=RabiesAwareness.txt
http://www.co.guilford.nc.us/gheh_cms/animal%20control/rabies_ac.htm

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