Staff Writer

NEWTON, NC – Catawba County Animal Services has confirmed the tenth case of rabies in the county this year. Previous cases reported this year by Catawba County occurred in Maiden, Vale, Newton, Hickory, Sherrills Ford and Claremont.

On October 3, Catawba County Animal Services responded to a call from a Newton resident who discovered a dead skunk in a kennel with his dog. The skunk was sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh, which notified Animal Services October 5 that the skunk tested positive for rabies.

The dog was current on its rabies vaccines and received a rabies booster after the incident occurred. Per state vaccination guidelines, animals current on their rabies vaccine should receive a rabies booster within 96 hours of possible rabies exposure.

Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is present in the local wild animal population and is a threat to pets and humans year-round. Signs that an animal may be infected with rabies include loss of appetite, irritability and unusual aggression, lack of fear and restlessness, dilated pupils, seizures, trembling and unsteadiness, difficulty swallowing, and drooling or foaming at the mouth. The best way to protect pets is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies.

For more information, call Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686.