The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

October 14, 2013

Rabid skunk found in Greenville

Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — The Greenville Animal Control Division received a call to contain a skunk in the 600 block of Erica, Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

Once retrieved, the animal was shipped to the State for testing. The State reported the skunk tested positive for rabies, the second positive test for the City of Greenville this year.

See the information below regarding the appropriate actions for area pet owners and for information about the Rabies virus:

Those living in the area near the 600 Block of Erica, should immediately have their animals vaccinated against rabies by a licensed Veterinarian. By law, the rabies vaccination is required every year, when given the one year vaccine and every three years, when given the three year vaccine. If you own a pet, you must be vigilant in keeping their vaccinations up-to-date.

 Pets should be restrained and not allow to roam free, this is also prohibited by the City of Greenville’s Code of Ordinances.

 All citizens should avoid contact with wild animals. Wild animals should not be hand fed by residents, nor should they be kept as pets.

 Do not touch sick or injured animals, and call the City of Greenville Animal Control Division if a sick or injured animal is sighted. Signs of rabies include a change in behavior, wild animals that seem friendly or tame, wild animals not normally seen in the day time hours, animals showing difficulty in walking, eating, or drinking and animals that appear to bite or scratch old wounds until they bleeds.

What is rabies?

Rabies is a virus of the central nervous system. It can be transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal, or through the saliva of a rabid animal being introduced into a fresh scratch or similar skin break. Rabies can incubate from 14 days to 18 months, depending on the type of animal, site of wound, amount of virus and the age of the victim. The average incubation period is 3 to 8 weeks.

There are two clinical types of rabies, ‘furious’ and ‘dumb’ rabies. An animal infected with the furious viral strain will display ‘mad dog’ behavior; irritability, snapping and biting at real or imaginary objects. These animals can be extremely vicious and violent. Paralysis sets in shortly, usually affecting the hind legs first, subsequently killing the animal in four to seven days.

Animals infected with the dumb strain will behave in a somewhat different manner. The prominent symptoms of this strain are drowsiness, paralysis of the lower jaw, snapping at movement and insensitivity to pain. These animals may behave as if there is something lodged in their throat. This action may prompt owners to attempt to remove the suspected object which will then expose the owner to the rabies virus. Animals with the dumb strain will typically succumb to the virus three to ten days after the first symptoms.

All citizens are asked to report any animal bite and/or potentially rabid animal to the Greenville Animal Control, at 5800 Joe Ramsey Blvd., 903-457-2990. An officer is on duty Monday –Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. After hours calls can be directed to the City of Greenville Police Department’s non-emergency number, 903-457-2900.

The following Veterinary clinics are available to administer the rabies vaccination to your pets, please call them for prices and hours:

Animal Clinic – 4257 Stonewall – (903) 455-6317

Animal Medical Center – 4307 Ridgecrest – (903) 454-9191

Crossroads Veterinary Clinic – 8414 Wesley St. – (903) 454-1563

Greenville Animal Hospital – IH-30 @ Lamar – (903) 455-8588

Cause for Paws – 4400 Moulton Ste. I – (903) 454-7387

Turtle Creek Veterinary Medical Center – 5900 Jack Finney Blvd. – (903) 454-6222