Over the last 100 years, rabies in the United States has changed dramatically thanks to mandatory vaccination programs. More than 90% of all animal cases reported annually to CDC now occur in wildlife; before 1960 the majority were in domestic animals. Major carriers of rabies in our area include: bats and skunks (although raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and most domesticated animals can be affected).
The first symptoms of rabies may be subtle: general weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache (seen in pets as low head carriage or pressing the head against a wall). These symptoms may last for days, but progress to incoordination, anxiety, confusion, agitation, aggression, snapping at shadows, and other abnormal behaviors.
Once symptoms of rabies appear, the disease is almost always fatal for both animals and humans. Diagnosis of rabies in animals requires a sample of brain tissue and cannot be performed on a live animal. Visit http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html for more details.
-Unvaccinated animals that have been exposed to a confirmed rabid animal are recommended to be euthanized or isolated and monitored for symptoms for 6 months.
-Vaccinated animals that are exposed to a confirmed rabid animal are recommended to be quarantined for 45 days.
-Animals that are rabies suspects should be quarantined for 10 days (even if current on rabies vaccination).