Catawba County News

Thirteenth Case of Rabies Confirmed in Catawba County

Thirteenth Case of Rabies Confirmed in Catawba County

Published: November 27, 2018

Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the thirteenth case of rabies in the county this year. Previous cases reported this year by Catawba County occurred in Maiden, Vale, Newton, Hickory, Sherrills Ford and Claremont.

On November 23, Animal Services responded to a call from a Hickory resident whose dog had potential exposure to a raccoon in his backyard. The raccoon was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services November 27 that the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

Because the dog was current on its rabies vaccination, Animal Services advised the owner to ensure the dog received a booster vaccine following the incident. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals current on their rabies vaccine should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.

Signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth. People who encounter an animal with any of these symptoms should avoid contact with the animal and report it to Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686. Pet owners who suspect their pet had contact with a rabid animal are also urged to call Animal Services.

Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is a threat to pets and humans year-round. The best way to protect pets is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies.