President's Prescription: Rabies - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: Rabies

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Dove hunting season started this month, and if you're planning on spending time hunting or participating in other outdoor activities this year, be on the lookout for potential dangers like rabies.

Although spending time in the great outdoors is beautiful and peaceful, it can also be dangerous. In addition to hazards like poisonous plants and snakes, rabies is still a concern among wild animals. 

Bites or scratches from bats, skunks, coyotes, foxes, bobcats and raccoons are considered high risk for rabies infection. However, bites or scratches from dogs or cats also can be dangerous, as unvaccinated pets are often the most common link between wildlife rabies and humans.

Symptoms of rabies may include:

  • Abnormal behavior or confusion - For example, nocturnal animals like coyotes or raccoons should not be seen during the day.
  • Excessive salivation and aggression - However, not all animals with
    rabies will foam at the mouth. In some cases, animals will become
    lethargic.

If you or a loved one is bitten or scratched by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water and consult a physician as soon as possible. If you can, secure the animal for observation or testing.

The treatment for rabies is expensive and long. The best thing you can do is to avoid exposure to the disease by staying away from suspicious animals, getting your pets vaccinated, and teaching your children not to pet strange dogs or cats under any circumstances.

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