VERNON, N.Y. -- A dog has been quarantined after coming into contact with a rabid skunk in the town of Vernon.
According to the Oneida County Health Department, the skunk tested positive for rabies, but the infected animal had no human contact.
Officials say on Sunday, a family noticed the skunk chasing the dog in their barn.
The skunk was put down, and the owner called his veterinarian, and the skunk was sent to the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center for testing.
“Thankfully, everything was handled properly. The appropriate health personnel was contacted immediately and there was no human contact with the animal,” said Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis Ellis, in a statement. “Unfortunately, this dog happened to be overdue on his rabies shots. Had he been up-to-date, he would not need to be quarantined.”
The dog will undergo observation for 6 months, before he is released from quarantine.
Health department officials recommend the following:
• Keep your pets’ rabies vaccinations up-to-date. Dogs, cats and ferrets 3-months and older must be vaccinated, even if they are kept indoors. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated at 3 months old, 1 year, and then once every 3 years. Ferrets must be vaccinated every year.
• Do not touch or feed wild or unknown animals
• Do not touch dead or sick animals and warn children to avoid wild or strange animals
• Whenever possible, do not leave pets outdoors unattended
• Walk your pet on a leash, and keep your pets indoors at night
• Reduce your chances of contact by ‘animal proofing’ your property
• Learn the signs of rabies in animals
• Seek immediate medical attention if you have contact with an animal you think may be rabid
• Report all animal bites to the Health Department
For more information on Rabies Prevention or a complete schedule of rabies clinics, contact the Oneida County Health Department at 315-798-5064 or head to their website.