CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- Catawba County now has 11 confirmed rabies cases this year, according to county officials.

  • Officials say the cases are in different parts of the county
  • The numbers almost quadruple 2017 numbers
  • Remember to get your domesticated animals vaccinated

Chief animal control officer Jenna Arsenault says they have confirmed cases in many different areas of the county. The numbers almost quadruple 2017 numbers.

“The animal may appear to be disoriented. It may have a different walk. It was seem unsteady,” Arsenault said.

She says most of the animals they have found this year were aggressive. So far, there was one fox confirmed, three raccoons, and seven skunks.

“They are not afraid of these domesticated animals, even a skunk against a large breed dog. These skunks are actually going after and going towards these dogs,” she said.

Gail Houston says a she saw a rabid skunk and it charged at her and attacked her cat.

“The skunk came out of its hole and jumped on Jack. They were wrestling each other rolling around on the ground. The skunk is biting his neck,” she said.

The cat ran up the tree, but was foaming at the mouth. Jack was vaccinated, but had to be quarantined and receive a booster.

“Make sure any domesticated animal you have, a ferret is included in this, over the age of 4 months is vaccinated,” Arsenault said. “The worst part of this job is having to explain to someone that because the animal was not vaccinated and that animal has to come in to quarantine.”

Signs that an animal may be infected:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability and unusual aggression
  • Lack of fear and restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Trembling and unsteadiness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling or foaming at the mouth

For more information, contact Catawba County Animal Services at (828) 464-7686.

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