DECATUR, Ala. — A local veterinarian is asking residents to check their pet’s medical records due to positive rabies cases in the area.
Osborne Animal Clinic wrote in a Facebook post that a bat brought into their clinic tested positive for rabies earlier in the week. It exposed the family dog and the owner. Then, another suspicious bat was brought into the clinic and had a pending rabies test. It exposed several family pets and perhaps the owner as they were handling it.
While two cases may not seem like a lot, the clinic said they normally only see one case every few years, and just in one week, have two possible cases.
All dogs and cats that are three months old or older are able to receive the rabies vaccine. They ask residents to check their records and make sure their pet received a rabies vaccine within the last year. If you have horses or other animals, consult with your veterinarian.
The clinic said if you see your dog playing with a bat, skunk, or racoon and it is still alive, separate your pet from it and contact animal control as soon as possible. If the animal is dead, make sure to handle it with gloves, place it in a plastic bag, then a box, and take it to your veterinarian or animal control so necessary rabies testing can be performed.
The traditional signs of rabies infections in domestic animals are abnormal neurological behavior, salivation, biting unprovoked, etc. In wild animals that are nocturnal, you would notice them acting very docile, coming out during the day, and appearing friendly.
The clinic asks residents to be aware and pay special attention to their pets. Check their vaccination records so they are up-to-date and protected if they ever come in contact with an infected animal.