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Animal Tests Positive for Rabies

Rabies AlertA non-domestic animal within the City of Russell has tested positive for the rabies virus according to city officials.

Animals with rabies tend to behave bizarrely and often aggressively, increasing the chances they will bite another animal or a person and transmit the disease.

Most people are knowledgeable enough about the disease to be wary of an animal that's foaming at the mouth, but there are many other symptoms an infected creature may exhibit.

Rabies signs are grouped into two forms known as either the "Furious" form of rabies or the "Paralytic" form. An animal may show signs of only one type or progress from one form to the other. Some animals will show no signs of rabies other than death.

The "Furious" form of rabies is more familiar to most people. Signs may include: aggression, loss of fear, daytime activity by nocturnal species, attraction to noise and human activity, excess vocalization, dilated pupils, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, restlessness, and/or biting at objects and other animals. Animals may or may not drool.

The "Paralytic" form of rabies may include symptoms such as: decreased activity, incoordination, hind limb weakness and acting "dull." Cats may meow excessively. As the disease progresses, the animal may drop its lower jaw, drool, be unable to swallow, become paralyzed and finally die.

If you own a dog or cat you should be concerned about rabies. With warmer weather approaching, increased contact between humans, their pets and wildlife is likely to occur. You can protect your family and your pet by keeping your pets' rabies vaccinations up-to-date and it's the law. Unlicensed and unvaccinated animals within the City of Russell may be impounded and/or their owner fined.

If you have any questions about rabies contact Animal Control at 483-7111, your veterinarian or the County Health Department.

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