Tuesday, October 30, 2012, Animal Services was called to pick up a fox that was killed by a family dog. The owner handled the pet after the altercation, which resulted in potential exposure for him. The dog did have a current rabies vaccine.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the fox was transported to the State Lab.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, the State Lab notified ASU that the fox had tested positive for rabies. The victim was notified of the positive results and the dog was given a rabies booster. ASU will canvass the area to educate the public about the importance of keeping their pet’s rabies vaccine current.
Animals that have a current rabies vaccination at the time of exposure should be re-boostered within five days (2009 Centers for Disease Control guidelines) of exposure. Recommendation is to euthanize exposed animals that are not current with their rabies vaccination. There are three primary routes of transmission of the rabies virus, which is carried in the saliva of the infected animal: 1) the primary route of transmission is through a bite which breaks the skin of the victim, 2) salivary contact to an open, fresh wound, or, 3) salivary contact to the mucous membranes of a potential victim.
Please maintain a current rabies vaccination for your pet; this is the primary defense against the spread of this fatal disease.
When dealing with primary rabies vectors (raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bats) or unknown animals, such as wildlife, it is recommended that the animal be handled with protective gloves to prevent viral transmission. Personal pets should not be handled without protection directly after being exposed to wildlife, due to the potential for carrying residual saliva from the infected animal. You should stay away from any animal that you have not been cleared to hold or pet, including owned dogs or cats, and especially wildlife. Feeding wildlife is ill advised. Prevention is better than reaction after the fact of exposure.
This is number 153 in overall cases. This is the 20th positive case for 2012.