1st Case of Rabies in 7 years in Wisconsin

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bigdogs@5501:
 I know all of us have our babies vaccinated- but there are so many that dont, also I think that this dog came in as a rescue- So heads up to those who do the rescue and transport- this did not originate in Wisconsin.

A rabid dog has been discovered and disposed of in St. Croix County, marking the first case of canine rabies in Wisconsin in seven years, state officials announced last week. The last reported case in St. Croix County was in 1990.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said the St. Croix County case appeared in an adult female Corgi that arrived from Minnesota without proper health papers.
Ed Thurman, environmental health specialist for St. Croix County, said it is the first case of canine rabies he has run across in five years in the position. “Previous rabies cases were in one or two bats,” he said.
“When I held the position in Rock County for seven years, we saw only two or three cases of rabies, also in bats,” he said.
The corgi diagnosed with rabies was described as a rescue dog. It was most likely removed from a situation where it was neglected by a well-meaning person who was interested in finding a good home for the animal, Thurman speculated.
DACTP officials said a second corgi that arrived with the infected dog was also euthanized but tested negative for rabies.
A county resident brought the dogs to her home from a kennel in Minnesota July 12. On July 13, one dog became ill and was taken to a veterinarian, who correctly diagnosed rabies. A third dog in the group died in a Minnesota kennel July 10 without being tested.
The dogs originated in North Dakota, were moved to a kennel in South Dakota and the spent a brief time at a Minnesota kennel before entering Wisconsin. Each move across state lines was made without health certificates, DACTP officials said.
Charlotte Sortedahl, county health officer, said the last recorded case of dog rabies in the county was in 1990. “That same year rabies was discovered in one bat, one cat, six cattle and 10 skunks,” she said.
“There is absolutely no reason anymore for rabies to show up in dogs. It is a completely preventable disease and one that threatens humans and other animals when dog owners don’t vaccinate their animals, said Dr. Yvonne Bellay, DACTP rabies epidemiologist in Madison.
“The dog was the 10th animal rabies case diagnosed in Wisconsin this year. The other nine cases were in bats,” said Dr. James Kazmierczak, public health veterinarian with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services.
“An alert veterinarian picked up on subtle signs that could be easy to miss. Excessive salivation could result from oral lesions or dental problems, but the veterinarian realized it could also be a symptom of rabies,” Kazmierczak said.
“This incident highlights the need for people to get their domestic pets vaccinated,” Sortedahl said.
Wisconsin requires all dogs five months and older to be vaccinated by a veterinarian and have a certificate to prove it. Cats are not required by law to be vaccinated but health officials recommend it.
Wisconsin also requires a health certificate that includes current rabies vaccination information in order to bring a dog into the state. There is no exception for rescue animals.
For more information, contact St. Croix County Health and Human Services at (715) 246-8263.
Canine rabies case is a heads-up for vaccinations
The first case of canine rabies to turn up in St. Croix County since 1990 emphasizes the need for pet vaccinations against the disease.
“Rabies is 100 percent preventable and 100 percent fatal,” said Dr. Amy Whaley of Armstrong Veterinary Service in Star Prairie, who handled the most recent case.
Whaley and the woman who owned the dog, both of whom have been vaccinated against the disease, had to take a series of booster shots as a precaution for coming into contact with the infected dog.
The dog was a Welsh corgi, one of two that came into the state without health certificates showing they had current rabies vaccinations, officials at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said in a news release last Friday.
Whaley said the owner’s awareness that something was wrong with the dog was a key factor.
“I give a lot of credit to her alertness and knowledge that something was not right with one dog,” said the veterinarian. The dog showed neurological symptoms.
The dogs came into the state July 12 and were taken to the vet July 13, the DATCP said. Both dogs had to be put down to test for rabies and sent off to state authorities for analysis.
There is no test we can do with a live animal,” Whaley said, adding that a part of the brain has to be used to determine if rabies exists.
The results showed one dog had rabies and the other didn’t. The dogs originated in North Dakota, moved to South Dakota and spent a short time in a kennel in Minnesota before arriving in Wisconsin, the DATCP said.
“These dogs were passed around, and we are not sure how many people handled them,” said Whaley.
The incident is a heads-up for people to make sure their pets have a valid rabies certificate, especially out in the country where dogs run lose. If a dog bites you, “go straight to your doctor,” said Whaley.
Experts say that once the symptoms appear in a person, there is no treatment and it is usually fatal. They also urge that if your pet is bitten by another animal, contact a veterinarian or local public health department promptly.
Although it is not required by the state, Whalen said it is also a good idea to have cats vaccinated for rabies.

Sillygoose:
well that's a little scary. Haven't ever heard of rabies in a dog forever. Why can't peolple just get there shots done.

Sillygoose:
Quote from: EastJenn on August 07, 2007, 05:33:42 PM

We've had three cases in our county so far this year.  It's really sad, and scary.

On the bright side, our county is now offering a free rabies vaccination day for any residents ... no limit on the number of pets. 


Wow that's fantastic. Imageine if every county or town did this.

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