Dog reported with rabies

Published 3:27 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A pet dog in the Pamplin area tested positive for rabies June 4.
The area, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Piedmont Health District, is located in Appomattox County but near Charlotte and Prince Edward.
A total of 12 persons were exposed and are undergoing post-exposure treatment; eight family and friends of the dog owner and four at the veterinary clinic that treated the animal, the release cited. A number of bats were found at the residence and it is thought that the dog may have gotten the disease from them. The dog had not been vaccinated for rabies.
The Health Department and Animal Control urge all pet owners to have their pets vaccinated against rabies.
Ed Dunn, environmental health manager with VDH, said the dog was taken to a veterinarian in Charlotte County and was exhibiting neurological signs and symptoms.
The veterinarian euthanized the dog and the Charlotte County Health Department sent it in to the laboratory for rabies testing June 3, Dunn said. The positive results came out on the evening of June 4 and the people who had contact with the dog were notified and began treatment June 5.
Rabies, according to the VDH, is a deadly viral disease that can be transmitted from infected wildlife to domestic animals and people.
Wild animals in Virginia are at high risk of being rabid include bats, raccoons, foxes and skunks.
“However, any mammal can get rabies,” the release cited.
Whenever there is a concern about possible rabies exposure to a person or domestic animal, the Health Department investigates to determine if post-exposure treatment or other control measures are needed. Animal Control and the Health Department investigate a large number of bite reports involving unvaccinated dogs; and numerous reports of unvaccinated dogs or cats that have had contact with high-risk wild animals, the release cited.

“Vaccinating your pets for rabies helps to create a barrier between wildlife and people; failure to do so weakens this barrier and increases the risk of exposure,” the release cited. “Vaccinating your pet means that you are protecting yourself, your family, neighbors, groomers, veterinary staff, delivery persons and anyone else who comes in contact with your pet from the possibility of rabies.”

“The consequences of not having your pet vaccinated for rabies are not worth the risks,” the release continued. “Please have your pets vaccinated and keep them current.”

For questions about rabies, call the local Health Department. In Prince Edward call (434) 392-8187; in Cumberland the number is (804) 492-4661 and for Buckingham the number is (434) 969-4244.

People can also visit the Virginia Department of Health website at: www.vdh.virginia. gov/environmental-epidemiology/animal-contact-human-health/.