Dog euthanized after contact with dead rabid skunk in Lewis County
DENMARK, N.Y. - Health officials are warning residents to be on guard after an unvaccinated dog came into contact with what turned out to be a dead rabid skunk in Lewis County. According to Lewis County Public Health, on Wednesday, May 23, a Town of Denmark resident discovered a dead skunk on their property and their unvaccinated dog had direct contact with it. The skunk was submitted for testing and was positive for rabies. Since the dog was not currently vaccinated against rabies, health officials said the owner had to make the difficult decision to have the dog euthanized. Health Officials said that a second dog may have had contact with the skunk, but that dog was currently vaccinated against rabies and required a booster. The resident did not require any treatment. This is the first skunk this year to test positive in Lewis County and the third animal this year to test positive for rabies. Lewis County Public Health is asking residents to be aware that rabies is still in our county and that all dogs, cats and ferrets three months of age and older must be vaccinated, even if they remain indoors. An animal is considered unvaccinated if its shot is just 1 day overdue. This ruling by the New York State Department of Health is implemented by Lewis County Public Health to protect Lewis County from rabies, health officials said, adding that there is no cure for rabies. Once the disease develops, officials warn, death will occur. Current rabies vaccination for pets is the first shot at three months of age, the second within no more than 1 year after the first and then a shot every 3 years after that. Id an unvaccinated animal comes in contact with a rabid wild animal, the pet owner will have a difficult decision to make. The pet will need to be quarantined in a very specific pen for six months or the pet will need to be euthanized. In addition, if an unvaccinated animal bites a person, the animal must be confined at an approved kennel for 10 days at the owner's expense. All animal bites of humans must be reported to Public Health.