01/15/07 — Officials recommend rabies vaccinations for pets

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Officials recommend rabies vaccinations for pets

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on January 15, 2007 1:46 PM

RALEIGH -- North Carolinians are again being urged to vaccinate their pets by the N.C. Division of Public Health.

Last year, 520 rabid animals were found across the state, with a number of unvaccinated cats and dogs euthanized and many people forced to undergo expensive preventive treatment for rabies.

There is a simple, easy way to protect you, your family and your pets from this deadly disease, said Carl Williams, a DPH veterinarian.

"Get your pets vaccinated against rabies," he said. "As the New Year starts, now is the time to check and make sure that your pets are up-to-date on their rabies shots."

So far in 2007, there have already been 13 rabies cases identified. Most occur in wild animals, particularly raccoons.

Rabies is a disease caused by a virus. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva or nervous tissue of an infectious animal, usually through a bite. There is no post-exposure treatment for unvaccinated dogs and cats, and they are required to be destroyed or quarantined at the owner's expense for six months. Vaccinated animals need to receive a booster shot within 72 hours of exposure.