Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system. It is almost always a fatal disease once contracted. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals. It is transmitted by bites, scratches or through mucous membrane contact with the saliva of an infected animal.
Our domesticated animals serve as a buffer between humans and the wild animal population. That's the reason it is important (and the law) for dog and cat owners to have their pets over three months of age vaccinated annually.
Any animal exhibiting atypical or unusual behavior should be treated cautiously.
- Nocturnal animals normally active at night being seen in the daytime
- A wild animal that shows no fear of humans
- Wild animals acting unusual for the species
- Domestic animals acting in an unusual manner
Animals Very Susceptible
If you come in contact with any animal you believe to be rabid, you should do the following:
- Completely wash the exposed area with soap and running water.
- See your physician immediately.
- Call the Humane Shelter or Animal Control so the animal may be captured.
- Call the health department at 293-6452 or your veterinarian for information regarding the handling and treatment of any exposed pets.
Important Things to Remember
- Don't feed wild animals.
- Don't let children play with strange dogs and cats.
- If your pet comes in contact with a rabid animal, don't handle your pet immediately. The rabies virus may be on your pet's fur and can expose you through cuts and mucous membrane contact.
- Beware - pet doors opening into your home can also let in wild animals!
Page last updated: April 11, 2017