Raccoon killed by dog had rabies

Published 10:35 pm Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A dog that killed a rabid raccoon in the Burbage Grant area will be under a 45-day observation period after receiving a rabies booster vaccination, according to the Suffolk Health Department.

The dog had been previously vaccinated against rabies, health department spokesman Jay Duell stated in a press release.

“An animal exposure can be a serious medical event, for which prompt evaluation and complete treatment is critical,” Dr. Christopher Wilson, health director for the Western Tidewater Health District stated in the release.

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“Rabies is highly preventable if vaccine is given early and as recommended. Unfortunately, without preventive treatment, by the time someone develops symptoms of rabies, there is no cure, and the disease is fatal in almost 100 percent of cases.”

Exposure to rabies occurs when an infected animal’s saliva enters the body through an open wound or mucous membrane.

State law requires that all dogs and cats over the age of four months be vaccinated against rabies.

The health department offered the following suggestions to help protect yourself and your family and pets from rabies:

  • If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact Suffolk Animal Control at 514-7855 or the Suffolk Health Department at 514-4751.
  • Seek medical treatment promptly for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
  • Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats and dogs.
  • Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. Consult your veterinarian, Suffolk Animal Control, or the Suffolk Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
  • Confine your pets to your property.
  • Securely seal garbage containers with lids.