ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. - A raccoon killed by a dog in the Days Point area of Isle of Wight tested positive for rabies Thursday morning, according to the Isle of Wight Health Department.
According to the health department, because the dog was not vaccinated for rabies, it will either have to be strictly isolated in a specially built double-walled pen for a period of 180 days or be euthanized.
Rabies, which is "highly preventable" with vaccination, is fatal in infected domestic dogs and cats that have not been vaccinated.
Dr. Todd Wagner, D.O., the health director for the Western Tidewater Health District, strongly recommends Isle of Wight residents take the following precautions to protect their families and pets from rabies:
- If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact Isle of Wight Animal Control at (757) 365-6318 or the Isle of Wight Health Department (757) 279-3078.
- Seek medical treatment immediately for any animal bite to ensure appropriate and timely evaluation and treatment. All animal exposures must be taken seriously.
- Do not approach wild or stray animals, especially raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, cats and dogs.
- Ensure all pet dogs, cats and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations. Please consult your veterinarian, Isle of Wight Animal Control or the Isle of Wight Health Department if you have any questions about pet vaccinations.
- Confine your pets to your property.
State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of four months to be vaccinated against rabies.
For more information on the disease, contact the Isle of Wight Health Department at (757) 279-3078, Isle of Wight Animal Control at (757) 365-6318 or visit the Virginia Department of Health's website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.