Local Alert

Oct 8, 2010 @ 04:40 PM — by Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital

CAT, DOG, AND FERRET HEALTH ALERT

THREE RABID RACCOONS AND ONE SKUNK IN FAIR LAWN

There is breaking news that a fourth case of rabies was confirmed this past week in a skunk in Fair Lawn.  It followed positive testing of three raccoons reported by residents in different parts of the borough this month.  

These confirmed cases bring to light that rabies is still a very real threat in our area.  The most important thing to remember is that there is a vaccine for the rabies virus, but there is no cure for rabies and it is fatal.  The virus is transmitted to pets and people by the bite of an infected animal.

Protect your pets by vaccinating all house pets for rabies.  Never leave unsupervised pets outside and report any bites from another animal.  If your pet attacks a wild animal, please call our office.  Stay away from wild animals, especially if they seem sluggish, overly aggressive or overly friendly.  Nocturnal animals seen during the day should also be avoided.

More information about rabies is also available at www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/faq/rabies.pdf

Please call us at 201-447-6000 if you have any questions and to schedule an appointment.  

Thank you for allowing us to care for your pets.

The Doctors and Staff of the

Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital

201-447-6000

Fair Lawn cautions residents on rabid animals

FAIR LAWN -

Borough health officials are asking residents to take extra steps to keep their pets and children away from wild animals after three raccoons tested positive for rabies in the past month.

"The most important thing is awareness to the public so they can protect themselves, their families and their pets," borough Health Officer Carol Wagner said Tuesday.

The three rabid raccoons were reported by residents in different parts of the borough who noticed the animals appeared sick and sluggish, Wagner said. The most recent positive test was returned last week.

The borough is also awaiting results on a skunk that was tested Monday after showing signs of lethargy and paralysis, Wagner said.

Rabies is considered endemic in Bergen County's raccoon population, but County Animal Control Supervisor Bob Harris said reports of the disease are still extremely rare in proportion to the number of wild animals in the county. He could not immediately say how many cases had been reported in Bergen County this year.

Two cases were reported in Elmwood Park this spring, Borough Health Officer Debby Ricci said. Animal control officers tested those animals because they were outside in the daytime, and one attacked a small dog that had not provoked it, she said.

The most recent confirmed case of rabies in Fair Lawn was five years ago, Wagner said.

Animals that seem sluggish, aggressive or have difficulty moving should be reported immediately to local health officials, Wagner said. Other precautions include inoculating all house pets for rabies, never leaving unsupervised pets outside and reporting any bites from an unknown animal. Any wild animal bite should be immediately cleaned with soap and running water and treated by a doctor or veterinarian.

E-mail: akin@northjersey.com

FAIR LAWN - Borough health officials are asking residents to take extra steps to keep their pets and children away from wild animals after three raccoons tested positive for rabies in the past month.

"The most important thing is awareness to the public so they can protect themselves, their families and their pets," borough Health Officer Carol Wagner said Tuesday.

The three rabid raccoons were reported by residents in different parts of the borough who noticed the animals appeared sick and sluggish, Wagner said. The most recent positive test was returned last week.

The borough is also awaiting results on a skunk that was tested Monday after showing signs of lethargy and paralysis, Wagner said.

Rabies is considered endemic in Bergen County's raccoon population, but County Animal Control Supervisor Bob Harris said reports of the disease are still extremely rare in proportion to the number of wild animals in the county. He could not immediately say how many cases had been reported in Bergen County this year.

Two cases were reported in Elmwood Park this spring, Borough Health Officer Debby Ricci said. Animal control officers tested those animals because they were outside in the daytime, and one attacked a small dog that had not provoked it, she said.

The most recent confirmed case of rabies in Fair Lawn was five years ago, Wagner said.

Animals that seem sluggish, aggressive or have difficulty moving should be reported immediately to local health officials, Wagner said. Other precautions include inoculating all house pets for rabies, never leaving unsupervised pets outside and reporting any bites from an unknown animal. Any wild animal bite should be immediately cleaned with soap and running water and treated by a doctor or veterinarian.

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