Ranchos puppy develops rabies
February 19, 2014
Two Carson City residents underwent rabies treatment from exposure to a puppy that tested positive for the disease as authorities mounted an investigation, Carson health officials said Wednesday.
The case was confined to one household in the city, but the probe is ongoing. The puppy was purchased from a litter in another household in the Gardnerville Ranchos, according to Taylor Radtke of Carson City Health and Human Service.
It has been more than 20 years since a dog has been reported as having rabies in the state.
Rabies can be deadly for humans, the department said.
Radtke, a public information officer, said Douglas County Animal Services is taking the lead in the part of the probe that traces back to the supplier of the puppy, while Carson City is investigating the origin of this rabies exposure, and trying to determine if anyone else was exposed to rabies.
“Right now, we are trying to contact other possible exposures,” said Radtke, taking note of the litter and sales aspects in the case. She said safety concerns for the community involve both humans and other animals.
She also said the pair exposed in the city not only is undergoing treatment but will have to be checked at the hospital, though hospitalization confinement wasn’t expected.
The puppy involved was purchased in January via a Facebook contact and various agencies are assisting in the probe.
Along with health authorities, officials at the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health Office of Epidemiology and the Center for Disease Control are involved.
The local health department said animal rabies symptoms exhibit as changes in behavior, biting, aggression, lack of fear over natural enemies, foaming at the mouth and paralysis.
Carson City Health and Human Services urges the following precautions:
■ Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
■ Make sure your pets are immunized. Dogs and cats should get initial rabies vaccines beginning at 12 weeks of age and additional boosters over the animal’s lifetime.
■ Confine all pets or keep them on a leash.
■ All persons, especially children, are warned to avoid all sick or injured animals.
■ All stray or wild animals should be avoided. If you think you have been bitten by a rabid animal wash the wound with soap and water for five minutes and seek medical attention immediately.