Three rabies cases confirmed

August 24, 2013

Hood County dog owners decided to euthanize two dogs, and other canine is in isolation after three wild animals were confirmed with rabies Wednesday.

The action was taken mostly as a precaution, although one of the dogs, a lab mix, was seen by a family member with a dead skunk in its mouth, Animal Control Sergeant Kelly McNab reported. The other two dogs were sprayed by skunks.

Two rabid skunks were found in the Acton area, within about a mile from each other, McNab said. Also, a rabid bat was found off of Glen Rose Highway south of Granbury.

“Obviously, we’re having a high incidence of rabies in this part of the state – especially in Hood County,” said veterinarian Ronny Naylor at the Granbury Animal Clinic.

Naylor said that there is no known environmental reason for the rabies outbreak. He noted that wild animals that are normally nocturnal, such as skunks, foxes, bobcats, coyotes and raccoons, could be infected with rabies if they are seen in the open during daylight hours.

It could not be determined if the lab mix was up to date on rabies shots, so the owner elected to have him humanely euthanized, McNab said. The owner of the other two dogs opted to have his husky euthanized. His second dog, a Yorkshire terrier, will be observed in an isolated area at the home for 90 days.

Kathleen Wallace, a veterinarian at The Pet Hospital of Granbury, said that’s normally the procedure in cases where the pet’s last rabies vaccination is undocumented. She said the procedures are dictated by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Yorkshire terrier had one booster shot already, to be followed by another three weeks after the exposure date and a third one eight weeks from the exposure, McNab said.

Wallace said that the three cases of confirmed rabies should remind everyone that this is still basically a rural community, and “rabies is still out there.”

A Bentwater couple had to have rabies shots after the woman was attacked on June 4 by a rabid fox. Her husband used a shovel to knock the fox off of her and kill it.

The Pet Hospital’s website says that all mammals are at risk of contracting rabies, which has no cure after the onset of the illness.

Lieutenant Lynn McDonald, who oversees Animal Control, urged residents to be vigilant because of the rabies threat. He said that if an animal that seems to be acting strange and rabies is spotted, keep your distance and call Animal Control at 817-573-4277 during regular business hours. After hours or on weekends, Sheriff’s Office dispatchers can be reached on the non-emergency number, at 817-579-3307.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 254

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