Clinic Stories

Rabies Hits Home

Two recent rabies cases, one involving a dog, the other a cat, are good reminders of why Rabies vaccination is required for pets in every state. In the Spring of 2016 a local dog fought a raccoon. The dog, who was never vaccinated, became sick and died of Rabies. Unfortunately, he did not go peacefully. Before he died he bit three people. The owner had five other unvaccinated dogs. The family veterinarian refused to see the dogs for Rabies vaccines because they had been exposed to their rabid housemate. The dogs then came under my supervision for a six month quarantine which would have been shorter with a timely vaccination. All finished their quarantine in good health.

In June 2016 I saw a very sick kitten foaming at the mouth. The kitten had been found near the Willowbrook Mall a week and a half earlier. It was taken home by a shelter volunteer for a week, then to another home by a second shelter volunteer, where it became sick. The kitten had no bite wounds and had not bitten anyone. Nevertheless it was checked for Rabies and was positive. Normally I do not allow anyone other than myself to touch a Rabies suspect because I have been vaccinated but this kitten was not presented as suspect for Rabies. One of our staff as well as many people from the shelter underwent Rabies treatment after handling the kitten.

In my career I have handled scores of animals with Rabies. That, along with cases like the two above, is why I firmly agree with the law that all pets must be vaccinated for Rabies.

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