Rabies cases have risen in the Jeniings area

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Rabies cases have risen in the Jeniings area

Post  Cindy on Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:24 pm

The cases of rabies infecting pets in Louisiana has risen over the last year. The first case of rabies in a dog in over 10 years was reported last September. After being exposed to an infected dog, myself and members of our staff were required to get injections. Since then, we have also seen reports in horses. Please remember to get your pet vaccinated for rabies! Vaccinations are probably the single most important part of your pet's health care. Nothing is more tragic than a beloved pet coming down with a deadly disease that was preventable!

All dogs and cats over the age of three months must be vaccinated and licensed. We are recommending livestock owners get their animals Rabies vaccines and boosters. The latest rabies infection case in a horse happened on May 16, when a horse was attacked by an infected skunk.

Keep your pets & livestock safe & vaccinate! If you suspect you pet has come into contact with another rabid animal, contact your local veterinarian immediately! Even vaccinated animals need a rabies booster after a rabies contact incident !

Detecting rabies in animals
Rabid animals may become depressed and retire to dark, quiet retreats. Wild animals, especially skunks, lose their fear of humans. The animals may show signs of paralysis such as abnormal facial expressions, drooping head, sagging jaw, paralyzed hind limbs or excessive drooling.
Some animals may show extreme excitement and aggression. They can attack suddenly, ferociously, and unpredictably. They may gnaw and bite their own limbs, and may attack stationary objects or other animals. Bouts of aggressive, rabies-induced behaviour often alternate with periods of exhaustion and depression.
If you see any animal that is acting strangely, you should report it to your animal control agency, humane society or the police.

Clinical signs of rabies are quite variable, with a change in behavior being one of them. This behavior change can be as subtle as apprehension, or as extreme as biting in a normally friendly dog. Dogs might chew at the site they were bitten when they became infected, and can even maim themselves.

As the disease progresses dogs may show increased irritability, visciousness, excitability, and eating unusual objects like wood. These dogs may hide in dark or quiet places, and will bite when provoked. Central nervous system signs like seizures will exhibit, and there may be paralysis prior to death.

A phase of the disease causes paralysis of the muscles in the throat. This leads to excessive drooling and choking sounds due to an inability to swallow, and is the sign most people think of when describing rabies. It is also common for people to think their dog has something stuck in its throat, and cause themselves to be exposed to virus laden saliva when attempting to removed the suspected foreign body.

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Cindy
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