Weekend results from the Florida State Lab confirmed a raccoon that attacked a dog on Caloosa Boulevard near Bee Line Highway in northwestern Palm Beach County was rabid.
In this instance a Tan and White 65 pound dog named Champ was attacked and bitten on Thursday by the raccoon. Animal Care and Control was notified and sent the deceased raccoon for testing. Champ sustained bites on the leg and was treated by a local veterinarian with a rabies booster shot and antibiotics. The Palm Beach County Health Department has advised the dog remain in strict quarantine for 180 days as it was not current with its rabies vaccination when attacked.
All citizens in Palm Beach County should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated. The public is asked to maintain a heightened awareness that rabies is active in this area. Animal Care and Control has placed informational flyers in the neighborhood where the bite took place.
An animal with rabies could infect other wild animals or domestic animals that have not been vaccinated against rabies. All domestic animals should be vaccinated against rabies and all wildlife contact should be avoided, particularly raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, bobcats and coyotes. Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies specific immune globulin and rabies immunization. Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the disease.
The following advice is issued:
- Keep rabies vaccinations up to date for all pets.
- Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.
- Call your local animal control agency to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
- Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted pets that may not be properly cared for or regularly vaccinated.
- Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
- Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
- Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly.
· Prevent bats from entering living quarters or occupied spaces in homes, churches, schools, and other similar areas, where they might come in contact with people and pets.
For further information on rabies, go to the Florida Department of Health website: website: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/medicine/rabies/rabies-index.html or contact the Health Department, www.pbchd.com, 561-671-4184. Animals exhibiting signs of sickness and aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1200.