ACHD Looking for Black Lab/Fought With Rabid Raccoon

22 Apr


The Allegheny County Health Department and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture are urging a couple whose black Labrador Retriever fought with a raccoon on the panhandle part of the Montour Trail on the evening of April 19, to call the Department of Agriculture at 724-443-1585. The dog-raccoon encounter took place at the Sturgeon/McDonald part of the trail.

The raccoon tested positive for rabies yesterday after it was killed and submitted to the Health Department for testing.

The rabies vaccination status of the dog exposed to the raccoon is unknown at this time.  For the health and safety of the pet and its owners, please call the state’s Veterinary Medical Field Officer, Dr. Erin Moore at the phone number listed above.

“We’re encouraging this dog’s owners to come forward, so that their pet can be evaluated and treated, if necessary, without delay,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.

“Spring is the time when owners can help prevent encounters with increasingly active wildlife and stray animals,” Dr. Dixon added.  “Avoid contact with them and call 911 or the local animal control service.”

“Raccoons have the highest incidence of wildlife rabies in the state,” said Dr. Moore.  “It is very important to have your dogs and cats vaccinated for rabies to prevent this disease.”

Rabies exposures typically occur through a break in the skin that comes in contact with an infected animal’s saliva.  The disease is almost always fatal when left untreated.

If there is additional contact information about this case, call the County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD.

This is the second rabid animal, both raccoons, reported in the County this year.  Five rabid animals were reported in 2010 – one raccoon, three bats and a fox.

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