Rabies is a serious viral disease.
There has been a steady incline with rabies cases in Connecticut since 1991. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted to different species of animals and to humans as well. Rabies attacks the central nervous system and without post-exposure medical treatment it will eventually enter the brain and cause death. Rabies is most commonly contracted from a bite from an infected host. Rabies can always be contracted through scratches or when saliva enters the body through open wounds or cavities such as mouth and eyes. It is not transmitted through urine, feces, blood or sweat glands. The incubation period of the rabies disease if usually a few months. Once rabies reaches the central nervous system and you begin to show symptoms, the infection is almost untreatable and death occurs in a few days. It is imperative that if you have come in contact with a dog, raccoon or any other animal that is suspect to have rabies that you seek immediate medical attention.
The picture depicts a raccoon since raccoons seem to be primary carrier in CT at the present time.
Symptoms of rabid animals can vary and it is important to point out that a raccoon seen during the daytime is not always rabid and should not be the single basis for believing the animal has contracted rabies. Drooling, disorientation, unprovoked aggression, unusual friendliness, paralysis and being uncoordinated are all symptoms of rabies infection. Rabies can infect any animal really, but raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, foxes, bats, dogs, cats, sheep, cows and horses are most common. Squirrels, mice and rabbits are less common while birds, fish, reptiles amphibians and insects do not get the rabies disease.
You can prevent rabies and protect your pets and livestock.
Getting the vaccinated is key in prevention against rabies. If your pet is exposed to a rabid animal it must be euthanized or quarantined for six months! The Connecticut DEEP strongly advises getting your pets protected with vaccinations. Other methods of prevention can be as simple as limiting the opportunity that your pet or livestock becomes exposed to a rabid animal. You can do this by installing fences or bringing you animals inside at night. It is also import to note that if you have an abundance or nuisance wildlife consistently getting into your garbage cans or getting too close to your home and pets that you should seek professional help to capture these animals and secure your yard against these potential carriers. This is a service that we do provide.