Rabies should be prevented

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2003

Staff report

When a disease afflicts you, rational thought can be severely affected. Thoughts, words and deeds might not be the same as when you are healthy. The same goes for animals. An otherwise docile house pet might scratch or bite a person it would normally greet with the wag of a tail. But usually your advantage is the ability to visit a doctor or hospital and ask for treatment. Animals can’t just trot in and say, &uot;I think I’m sick. Could you help me?&uot;

This being Rabies Awareness Week, we urge you to make certain that you know the perils of this disease.


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nForemost, if untreated in either animals or people, it is invariably fatal. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Not a pleasant way to die.

nStay away from raccoons, possums, squirrels, stray dogs and cats, and other critters. Don’t confuse them with cartoons and try to pet them because they look cute.

nMake certain that your pet gets regular vaccinations. Neglect could result in vulnerability to rabies, and that precious pooch may have to be euthanized.

nShould you be scratched or bitten by a wild animal or even your own pet, immediately seek treatment. One of our correspondents tried to rescue a small kitten a few years ago and got nipped. The critter got away and so it could not be determined if it was infected, but no one took any chances. The man had to endure a lengthy, painful and expensive series of shots.

nSpeaking of shots, some local veterinarians are offering vaccinations for $7.

Veterinarians in Suffolk participating in the reduced price vaccinations include Academy Animal Care at 3372 Pruden Blvd., phone 934-2273; Bennetts Creek Vet. Care at 3215 Bridge Rd., Suite 4, phone 483-5590; Harbour Veterinary Office at 542 E. Constance Rd., phone 925-2011; Nansemond Vet. Hospital at 110 Kensington Blvd., phone 539-6371; and Suffolk Animal Hospital at 1232 Holland Rd., 539-1385.

Report all animal bites to the Suffolk Animal Control Bureau at (757) 923-2160 or the Suffolk Health Department at (757) 686-4978. In Franklin, call the Animal Control Bureau at (757) 562-8605, and in Southampton, call Animal Control at (757) 653-2100, or the Southampton Health Department at (757) 653-3047. Isle of Wight residents should call the Animal Control Bureau at (757) 635-6318 or the Isle of Wight Health Department at (757) 357-7242.

For more information on rabies, log onto the Virginia Department of Health’s Web site at www.vdh.va.us/epi/rabies.htm or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/default.htm