Catawba County News

Eighth Rabies Case of 2019 Confirmed in Catawba County

Eighth Rabies Case of 2019 Confirmed in Catawba County

Published: November 04, 2019

Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the county’s eighth rabies case of 2019 following an incident in Newton. Previous cases reported to the county this year occurred in Claremont, Hickory, Maiden and Newton.

On October 31, Animal Services responded to a call from a Newton resident whose dogs were exposed to a dead skunk. The skunk was sent for testing to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services on November 4 that the skunk tested positive for rabies.

Because the dogs’ owner had proof of prior rabies vaccination, the owner was advised to provide the dogs with a booster vaccine. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals with prior rabies vaccination 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.