Another Rabies Alert
A steer from a herd of cattle in Nobles County tested positive for rabies at the end of February. One month prior to the steer becoming ill and aggressive, a skunk was seen on the property. The herd veterinarian treated the ill steer before its death two days later. The veterinarian has been recommended to be given post-exposure prophylaxis shots.
Again, this is just another grim reminder of the presence of this deadly disease in our wildlife and how it spreads to our animals. Please protect your pets and your family by keeping your pets’ rabies vaccine current.
On January 31, an owner of a feedlot noticed one of his cows appeared to be showing signs of labor two months before her expected calving date. The following day, the cow was walking strangely and eventually appeared paralyzed and unable to walk. The cow tested positive for rabies on February 2. This is the fourth positive rabies case in Minnesota this year. This case follows three rabid skunks that were found in Benton, Stearns, and Wright Counties in January.
Rabies is still, unfortunately, prelalent in our state, sticking around in our skunks and bats and wild animals. Please protect your pet from this deadly disease and keep your pet’s rabies vaccine current. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet or would like to check on your pet’s vaccine status, please call us at 763-574-9892.
Rabies and Flu Update
Another confirmed case of rabies was announced on December 1st. A stray cat in Olmstead County, in the southeastern portion of the state, was taken in by a family at the end of October. The cat was spayed and vaccinated, after which the cat started developing neurologic signs such as aggression, vocalization, wobbly in the rear end and scooting. The cat was euthanized and tested for rabies then. The unvaccinated cats in the home also euthanized while the vaccinated cats in the home have to be quarantined. The owner, three relatives and four veterinary staff members all need to be treated with post-exposure prophylaxis shots. This is just another serious and sad reminder of how important it is to keep our pets up-to-date on their vaccines, especially their rabies vaccine.
Canine Influenza Update
In a national survey of pet care facilities, over a quarter of all surveyed are now requiring that dogs be vaccinated for canine influenza virus (dog flu) before being allowed to board or stay at the facility. Even if a facility is not requiring the vaccine, please consider getting the canine influenza virus vaccine that we offer to help protect your dog wherever you go – boarding, grooming, dog parks, doggie daycare.
First Rabies Positive Dog of the Year in Minnesota
The first rabies positive dog of the year in Minnesotay was found on Tuesday October 18th in Lincoln County in the southwestern part of the state. The dog was not vaccinated for rabies. Approximately three weeks ago the dog was seen with a wound on its neck and subsequently started developing incoordination and exaggerated movements which progressed to paralysis of the back legs. Since the family had all been exposed to the dog while the dog was shedding virus, all members must get the series of shots to help protect them from developing rabies too. The other unvaccinated dog in that family will also have to be euthanized to test for rabies. Here in Minnesota the rabies virus is always present in the wildlife, primarily skunks and of course bats. Keeping your dog’s rabies vaccine current is not just a way to protect your pet from this deadly virus but also to protect your family. Rabies is nearly always fatal once contracted. The virus is spread through saliva mainly from bite wounds of a rabid animal but you can also get it if you get the drool from an infected animal in any cut or wound you already have in your skin. Here are a few important rules to follow to help keep you and your family (four-legged members and all) protected from rabies:
• Keep your dog, cat and horse’s rabies vaccine up-to-date.
• Stay away from all skunks, especially ones acting oddly or coming close to your house. Call the animal control to deal with them.
• Please call us immediately if you suspect your pet may have had any contact with a skunk or bat. Remember, bats carry and spread the virus but do not show any signs of illness so just being in contact with a bat is considered possible exposure to rabies.
Canine Distemper Virus is Here
An important canine virus that is becoming more prevalent in our wildlife is canine distemper virus. Many raccoons in Minnesota and even the Twin Cities area are infected with the virus. These raccoons may show similar signs to rabies, such as incoordination and muscle spasms. Unfortunately this disease also is highly fatal in both dogs and raccoons. Thankfully the distemper vaccine is highly effective at protecting our canine friends from the disease. The other good news (if there can be good news with a deadly virus) is that canine distemper virus does not affect people or cats. Basically the same general principles for protection of you and your family apply to canine distemper virus as to rabies virus.
Rabies in a Cat
An eight-year-old Stevens County cat was aggressive towards people, panting and having difficulty walking for three days before its death. The animal had never been vaccinated for rabies and tested positive for the disease on April 18. The cat’s four two-week-old kittens have since died.
Again, please keep you pets vaccinated. Your pets are members of you family and by not vaccinating them, the whole family is at risk.