Rabies AlertBy Dr. Robert R. Blease DVM
Please advise all children not to approach any wildlife. Last week, we took out a confirmed case of rabies of a raccoon in my veterinary office parking lot (Warren County, New Village, NJ), The rabid raccoon chased the first employee to arrive (6:30 am) and then chased the animal control officer until caught.
Please take this warning seriously. Be sure all pets are current with their rabies vaccinations. Horses also need to be vaccinated; those that are outside are at greater
risk. The raccoons whether rabid or otherwise, are not shy about going into barns. The hallmark sign of rabies is a change in behavior and personality. Fearful animals become friendly and friendly animals become wild. Don’t forget bats, raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and dogs, and cats, or any mammal for that matter can transmit
rabies. Please note, more cats get rabies than dogs. Fewer cats are routinely vaccinated, bats go into houses frequently and more cats run loose than dogs.
I have been viciously bitten by a rabid kitten, my associate veterinarian has been bitten by a rabid cat, and I am personally aware of three people who have died from rabies since I’ve been practicing veterinary medicine. One person died from repairing a house that had bats in the walls, another local family person died from a rabid puppy (out of the country), and the third client’s son(In Georgia) woke up during the night with a bat biting him on the toe. He did nothing and ultimately died.
Once the rabies virus gets to your brain, it is always fatal but it can be prevented with vaccinations and if measures are taken immediately. Always, always notify the Board of Health, your doctor, this veterinarian or any other if you have been bit, scratched or exposed under suspicious circumstances. While the United States continues to improve its education and preventative measures on rabies, 55,000 people (Worldwide) still die from the virus.
If you have any questions or concerns about rabies, do not hesitate to contact me at 908-859-3045
– Dr. Robert R. Blease DVM