Rabies reports from Colorado, Maryland, and North Carolina

Colorado  05/05/10  thefencepost.com:  Like many dog owners, Tasha and Bobby Chevarria of rural Agate, Colo., put their four dogs in a pen during the day when they are at work and let them out at night when they get home.  But on the evening of April 1, when Tasha went to the pen to get her dogs out, she was shocked at what she found in their kennel.   “There was a dead skunk in the pen with them,” Tasha said. “It had gotten in there with the dogs in broad daylight.”  Tasha knew something had to be wrong with the skunk, so she put it in a cooler until she could get it to the Colorado Division of Wildlife for testing. The test results came back quickly. The Chevarrias weren’t surprised to hear that the skunk had rabies.

Animals with rabies usually show one of two sets of symptoms called either “furious” rabies or “dumb” rabies. Symptoms usually develop between 20 and 60 days after an animal is exposed to the disease. Rabid animals may become aggressive, vicious and highly sensitive to touch and other kinds of stimulation. They may also be lethargic, weak in one or more limbs, and unable to raise their heads or make sounds.

Rabies is a disease eastern Coloradans haven’t had to deal with much in nearly 30 years.  “There really haven’t been any rabies cases close to Denver for a long time,” Reed said. “It started up again when a rabid skunk was found south of Byers in the summer of 2008. Since then we have been seeing more cases turn up. Skunks are awesome for spreading the disease.”  Bub Keen, a rancher from Byers, Colo., has learned a lot about rabies this month after two of his family’s horses died from the disease.  “Anyone who was exposed to the horses in the two weeks before they died has to get a series of shots as a precaution,” Keen said.  Keen and his family were required to get a dose of human rabies immune globulin and four doses of rabies vaccine during the 14-day period following the first shot.  “We are now recommending that people get their horses vaccinated against rabies,” Reed said.

Maryland  05/05/10  wjz.com:  Elkton ― Cecil County health officials say a feral cat that bit a Delaware resident in Rising Sun has tested positive for rabies.  Authorities said the animal was displaying rabies symptoms and was being put in a carrier to be taken to a vet when it bit the person. The cat was euthanized and tests confirmed it was positive for rabies.  The bite victim and Delaware health officials were notified.

North Carolina  05/05/10  wwaytv3.com:  Animal control authorities say the third confirmed case of rabies for 2010 in New Hanover County occurred when a pet dog fought with a raccoon at a Middle Sound Loop Road residence.  The incident occurred Sunday and test results returned Tuesday from the state lab confirm the wild animal was rabid. The dog was current on its rabies vaccination and was re-boostered in accordance with health recommendations.

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