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The Bladen County Health Department Animal Control Office has reported that there have been confirmed cases of rabies reported in Bladen County. If your pet has contact with a wild animal and has not been vaccinated against rabies, there is a very good chance that your pet will have to be either quarantined or put down. You cannot be sure by looking at a wild animal if they are rabid, and if your pet spends a majority of the time outside without you, you may not know if it has come into contact with a rabid animal until it is too late.  If your pet becomes infected, it could bite you, your children, or another person and potentially pass rabies to you.  There are a series of shots that are given to prevent rabies in humans after they are bitten, but why take a chance when prevention is so easy.   

The Bladen County Health Director urges all residents to have their pets vaccinated. To help make it more convenient for you, rabies vaccination Clinics are being held at different sites throughout Bladen County.  The cost of the vaccine is only $6.00 per animal at the satellite clinics; however, rabies vaccines are also available anytime at your veterinarian’s office.

The next and final series of satellite clinics will be held on July 11, 2015 at the following sites:

12:30-1:00 at the Elizabethtown Veterinary Hospital;

Satellite locations are:  

9:30-10:00 am in the Cypress Township on Bull Street/Old Fayetteville Road 

10:20-10:50 am in the Cypress Creek Township at the 701/210 Crossroad

11:10-11:40 am in the Lake Creek Township at the Rowan Country Store

12:00pm-12:30 pm in the Frenches Creek Township, at the Kelly Store

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. There may be also discomfort at the site of bite or a prickling or itching sensation. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hyper salivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water).

Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive. To date less than 10 documented cases of human survival from clinical rabies have been reported and only two have not had a history of pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis. Disease prevention includes administration of both passive antibody, through an injection of human immune globulin and a round of injections with rabies vaccine.

Sheila Rains, Communicable Disease nurse for Bladen County Health Department states, “The simple cost of the vaccination can save the life of your animal and save you a lot of grief over the loss of a pet and concern about the safety of your family.  To avoid complications get your pet vaccinated.  It is cheap and easy to do”. 

For more information or to comment please contact the Bladen County Health Department at 910-862-6900, Animal Shelter 910-862-6918, or your local Veterinarian’s office.

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