For Dr. Janice Price with the Windmill Animal Hospital the case hits close to home.
"The dog in question that was exposed to the rabid skunk is one of my own patients," she explains. "Fortunately in this situation my patient was properly vaccinated for rabies and current."
According to Dr. Price, had these owners not kept their pup current on the rabies vaccination it would have resulted in a forced quarantine for up to 45 days in the local pound. The quarantine is meant to help doctors look for and recognize symptoms, which could take a while to fully develop.
"The rabies virus, the way it works, it's in the saliva of the animal that has rabies," Dr. Price explains, "and it attaches to the nerves of the animal that gets bitten and then it works its way up the nerve path."
Because the virus moves through the nervous system at a very slow rate, between 1-3mm per day, depending on where the animal was bitten or exposed to the virus will determine how long it takes symptoms to show.
Symptoms to watch for include mood changes, difficulties swallowing, foaming at the mouth, excess salivation or drooling, and finally aggressive shifts in behavior.
So how do you protect your pets from the virus?
According to Dr. Price the biggest way to keep your pets safe is by keeping them up to date on their rabies vaccinations. Secondly, Dr. Price recommends removing any outside food source from your yard to help limit your pets exposure to other wild animals.
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2 Windmill Circle
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Website: Windmill Animal Hospital
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