Vaccinate Your Pets Against Rabies

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The message is clear – Vaccinate your pets against rabies. That’s the word from Bonnie Lilley, DVM, Chief Veterinarian for Pima County. Within the past week, near the Pima and Cochise County lines, a domestic dog tested positive for rabies; while close to Catalina, a fox was found to be rabid.

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Citing information released by the Arizona Department of Health Services, Pima County has the dubious honor of leading the state in laboratory confirmed rabies positive animals. For Pima, the current case count stands at 61 with rabid bats in first place at 40 and skunks coming in second at 18. With two months remaining in the year and the number of rabies cases at 162 as of November 5, the State is on course to surpass the previous record of 169 rabies positive animals set in 2005.

“This is a good news/bad news scenario. The public is doing a really good job of bringing these sick animals to our attention, however, it also demonstrates how critical it is to vaccinate our domestic pets against rabies,” said Dr. Bonnie Lilley. “We have rabies in our wild animal population county-wide, so extreme caution should be exercised at all times when someone is confronted by an animal acting aggressively. Authorities should be notified immediately of any incident,” Lilley continued.

Although somewhat limited, the supply of post exposure rabies vaccine for humans is available if needed. The Arizona Department of Health Services advises from January 1 through September 6, 2007 the total number of rabies positive animals was 103 when compared to January 1 through September 30, 2008 when the case count was 139.

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