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Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2013

Abilene Animal Services warn public of puppy that tested positive for rabies at shelter

The City of Abilene Animal Services is advising citizens who may have visited the Animal Shelter, located at 925 S. 25 Street, between the dates of Wednesday, May 22 and Friday, May 24 to call 325-437-4585 and leave the requested information after a puppy at the shelter tested positive for the lethal virus, rabies, according to a news release Thursday.

Taylor County, Texas map Image/Dave Benbennick

Taylor County, Texas map
Image/Dave Benbennick

The puppy, a Blue Heeler mix, was brought in to the shelter on Wednesday, May 22, with no unusual symptoms. By Friday, May 24, the puppy was acting erratically and, for the safety of the general population, was humanely euthanized.

KTXS 12 reports that at least three people were given rabies prophylaxis, including two Abilene city workers.

Rabies is an acute viral infection that is transmitted to humans or other mammals usually through the saliva from a bite of an infected animal. It is also rarely contracted through breaks in the skin or contact with mucous membranes.

According to the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, all mammals are susceptible to rabies. Raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, dogs, coyotes and cats are the likely suspects. Other animals like otters and ferrets are also high risk. Mammals like rabbits, squirrels, rodents and opossums are rarely infected.

Animals with rabies can appear very aggressive, attacking for no reason. Some may act very tame. They may look like they are foaming at the mouth or drooling because they cannot swallow their saliva. Sometimes the animal may stagger (this can also be seen in distemper). Not long after this point they will die. Most animals can transmit rabies days before showing symptoms.

If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to animal control. Some things to look for are:

  • General sickness
  • Problems swallowing
  • Lots of drool or saliva
  • An animal that appears more tame than you would expect
  • An animal that bites at everything
  • An animal that’s having trouble moving or may even be paralyzed

Initially in humans, like in many diseases, the symptoms are non-specific; fever, headache and malaise. This may last several days. At the site of the bite there may be some pain and discomfort. Symptoms then progress to more severe: confusion, delirium, abnormal behavior and hallucinations. Rabies is nearly 100 percent fatal without appropriate prophylaxis.

Although worldwide it is estimated that there are more than 55,000 deaths due to rabies annually, human rabies cases are extremely rare in the United States, which averages  less than five human rabies cases annually.

Human rabies is prevented by administration of rabies vaccine and rabies immune globulin.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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    […] Texas 05/31/13 Taylor County: by Robert Herriman – The City of Abilene Animal Services is advising citizens who may have visited the Animal Shelter, located at 925 S. 25 Street, between the dates of Wednesday, May 22 and Friday, May 24 to call 325-437-4585 and leave the requested information after a puppy at the shelter tested positive for the lethal virus, rabies, according to a news release Thursday.  The puppy, a Blue Heeler mix, was brought in to the shelter on Wednesday, May 22, with no unusual symptoms. By Friday, May 24, the puppy was acting erratically and, for the safety of the general population, was humanely euthanized. KTXS 12 reports that at least three people were given rabies prophylaxis, including two Abilene city workers. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/abilene-animal-services-warn-public-of-puppy-that-tested-positive-f… […]

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