Catawba County News

First Rabies Case of 2019 Confirmed in Catawba County

First Rabies Case of 2019 Confirmed in Catawba County

Published: March 01, 2019

Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s first rabies case of 2019.

On February 26, Animal Services responded to a call from a Newton resident whose dog was bitten by a skunk. The skunk was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services February 28 that the skunk 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.