Rabies 1

Did you know that if your dog bites or scratches someone and it does not have a current rabies shot, Arizona state law requires your pet to be quarantined for 10 days? If your dog is bitten or scratched by a wild or unknown animal and does not have a current rabies shot, Arizona law requires your pet to be quarantined up to 120 days at the county’s animal care facility located in Globe.

The cost of having Gila County Animal Care & Control quarantine your pet can be extensive. Your dog on a 10-day quarantine can cost you $400, and the price can be close to $2,000 for a 120-day quarantine. To prevent the excessive cost of a quarantine of your pet, please contact a local veterinarian to schedule a simple rabies shot for all your family pets.

As of June 15, 2018, Gila County has had four reported cases of rabid animals, of which three (3) of those cases were coyotes and one (1) was Coati.

Statewide, there have been more than 77 confirmed rabid animals since January, the majority of which have been skunks and foxes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death.” (1)

The risk of human exposure to a rabid animal is usually rare, but domestic animals, such as cats and dogs often come into contact with wild animals and are at an increased risk. The CDC recommends that all dogs, cats and ferrets be vaccinated.

Consideration should be given to vaccinating livestock that are particularly valuable, including animals that have frequent contact with humans and horses traveling interstate.

For humans, initial symptoms of rabies may be very similar to those of the flu, including general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. (2)

If a domestic animal such as a dog becomes infected, it may show extreme behavioral changes such as restlessness or anxiety. Friendly pets may become irritable, while normally excitable animals may become more docile. (3)

What can you do to prevent rabies? Gila County Animal Care & Control recommends that people do not touch or feed wild or unfamiliar animals, even if they seem friendly. If you come across any wild animal exhibiting unusual, erratic, or aggressive behavior you should report it immediately to Gila County Animal Care & Control at 928-425-5882 or the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 602-942-3000.

If you or your pet are bitten or have contact with a wild animal, seek immediate medical or veterinary attention and contact the Gila County Public Health Department at 928-402-8811.

(2) What are the signs and symptoms of rabies? https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/symptoms/index.html

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