Monday, Dec 17, 2018
Garza County News

TGP

Dr. Kerry Wink

Rabies

An alarming number!

Published Dec. 16, 2011 @ 10:54 a.m.

I know I have already briefly talked about Rabies before, but I thought I would bring the subject up again.  Our region has had a significant increase in the number of rabies cases over the past 15 or so years.  Veterinarians and Animal Control officers receive email notifications of every new rabies case that occurs in our region.

It is very alarming to me that in 1996 we only had 1 case of rabies in skunks in our region for the entire year.  This year we have already had 53 cases of rabies in skunks.  This makes me very concerned about not only our pets in our community but our own well being as well. 

I don’t know if you are aware of how many skunks have been in trapped in Post alone this year.   I know it’s in the hundreds each month….yes, EACH month!  I am not a negative person about this subject, but we have been extremely lucky not to have a confirmed case of rabies in Garza County, much less in the town of Post.  With the correlation between significant increases in rabies cases and the amount of skunks that are trapped inside the city limits here in Post, it’s just a matter of time before a confirmed case will appear.  You don’t want to be the one, do you? 

This should open your eyes to the importance of rabies vaccinations in our pets.  I know most of you vaccinate your dogs and cats.  However not only your dogs and cats but also horses, cows, goats and sheep are affected by rabies.  My personal (& professional) opinion is all horses should be vaccinated for rabies.  Doesn’t it sound silly to not vaccinate your horse for something that will kill it if they contract rabies?  Yes, I said kill.  There is NO treatment for rabies whether in a dog, cat or horse. 

I am most concerned about our feral (wild) cat population that we have here in Post.  I know several of us feel sorry for all of these cats so out of pity we start feeding them.  Then before we know it we are feeding 20 to 30 cats.  These cats are too wild to catch and bring them in to get routine vaccines, especially rabies.  However, these are the animals which are more susceptible to be exposed to a rabid skunk.   Then this feral cat which you are feeding at your home is going to expose your cat, dog or even worse you to rabies.  Do you know the treatment for a human exposed to rabies? Don’t quote me on this, but I do know it’s a series of multiple shots (about 9-10) over the course of a month.  OUCH! 

If your pet is not current on its rabies vaccine do not wait any longer!  Garza County requires every pet (dog and cat) to be vaccinated each year for rabies. It’s the law.   Like I said earlier, we have been very fortunate not to have a rabies positive animal here in Post.  Don’t be the first case.  The cost of a rabies shot is much less than the treatment for you or the loss of a pet.  Call and set up your appointment to get your pet vaccinated for rabies. 

 

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