CATAWBA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Catawba County Animal Services has reported that the eleventh case of rabies in Catawba County has been confirmed.
Animal Services workers responded to a call on Oct. 6 from a Newton resident who’s dog came in contact with a skunk. The skunk was captured and sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh where it tested positive for rabies.
The dog has received a rabies booster and has been placed under 45-day home observation, per state guidelines.
“The number of confirmed rabies cases varies from year to year based on how many incidents of rabies exposure occur,” said Mark Pettit, Catawba County Assistant Emergency Services Director. “Higher case numbers do not indicate a rise in the incidence of rabies in the wild animal population. Rabies is present year-round in wildlife, such as skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats. Exposure to rabid animals tends to increase in warmer months when animals and people are outdoors more often.”
The public is advised to look out for any signs that an animal may have rabies, including symptoms such as a loss of appetite, irritability, lack of fear, restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling, difficulty swallowing and drooling or foaming at the mouth. People that come into contact with animals displaying any of these symptoms are urged to avoid contact with it and report it to Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686.
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.