Mount Vernon News

By Mount Vernon News
May 30, 2012 11:43 am EDT


MOUNT VERNON — Keeping up with the health and safety of one’s pets is a top priority for many. Diligence is key for many pet owners in keeping their companions safe from sickness and disease. One disease that can be a threat at any given time is rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease which is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually bats, raccoons, skunks, fox and coyotes. Animals contract the rabies virus by exposure with another infected animal through blood or saliva. Incubation periods can vary, and it usually takes from 10 to 14 days for symptoms to appear. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted from an animal to a human.

Although it has been more than 30 years since a domestic animal has tested positive for rabies in Knox County, the threat remains real without proper vaccination. Bats were the only animal to test positive for rabies during this period, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Incidences of rabies in Ohio have occurred in dogs and horses.

Dr. Jessica Krueger, DVM, of the Mount Vernon Animal Hospital, told the News that there are two types of rabies. First is what is called the “dumb” form where the animal is not respondent and is basically “out of it.” Second is the aggressive form where animals will act rather peculiar and may even be aggressive or combative.

Any mammal can contract the rabies virus, but it is more common in small animals, particularly raccoons and bats. Death is the real threat once rabies has been contracted. Early treatment of rabies through vaccination can kill the virus, but once it reaches the nervous system it is almost always fatal. Most animals die once they have the virus, and deaths have also occurred in humans.

For the full story, click here for the May 30, 2012 e-edition. The article will only be available for thirty (30) days.

Contact Alan Reed

Rules: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other commenters personally and keep your language decent.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.