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Health experts point to rabies cases
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The Tennessee Health Department is reminding pet owners to vaccinate their animals for rabies after two rabid dogs were recently confirmed in Middle Tennessee.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health, one puppy died in Wilson County in February. A second dog was submitted for testing in February from DeKalb County. Both dogs had a strain of rabies found in skunks, meaning they were likely infected after being bitten by skunks.
Vaccination of dogs and cats is required by Tennessee law, and many local health departments work with veterinarians to provide low-cost vaccination clinics. The Warren County Rabies Clinic will be offered on two Saturdays in April. Vaccines will be $8 per animal.
On April 16 and April 23, individuals can call for an appointment at:
• Middle TN Vet Services (Dr. Willis) from 8 a.m. to noon, call 409-3178;
• McMinnville Animal Care (Dr. Everett) from 8 a.m. to noon, call 474-7387;
• Sparta Road Veterinarian Clinic (Dr. Young) from 8-11 a.m., call 668-2393;
• McMinnville Animal Clinic (Dr. Malone) from 9 a.m. to noon, call 473-4129;
• Town and Country Animal Hospital (Dr. Maxwell) from 9-11 a.m., call 668-515.
You may also stop by a participating veterinarian office during their normal office hours on rabies clinic week. Each vet will honor this reduced price for the rabies vaccine all during Warren County rabies clinic week. To avoid a long wait, call for an appointment.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of pain. There is no known treatment for rabies in animals, while humans have to be given shots at recommended intervals for best results.
“What is the protocol if you have to shoot a dog that you suspect has rabies?” asked Commissioner Tommy Savage to Warren County Animal Control director Kim Pettrey, during a Health and Welfare Committee meeting. “Where do people take it? I used to be take it to the Health Department.”
Unless the dog has bitten someone it will not be tested, says Pettrey.
“The dog that bit me, the one the officer shot, we took it to Dr. Young. He removed the head and sent it off for us,” said Pettrey. “They are not going to have it tested unless it’s bitten somebody.”
The dog that attacked Pettrey was so aggressive an officer had to shoot it. A healthy domestic dog or cat that bites a person is confined and observed for 10 days. If signs of rabies develop, then the animal is euthanized and its head removed and sent for testing.