Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by Fumipets
Urgent Call for Pet Vaccination as Rabies Detected in Stray Kitten in Oakland County
Pet Owners on Alert Following Rabies Case in Stray Kitten
The recent discovery of a stray kitten infected with rabies in Oakland County, Michigan, is prompting veterinarians to urge pet owners to vaccinate their animals.
A Wake-Up Call for Pet Owners
Pet owners in Oakland County, Michigan, are urged to take immediate action and vaccinate their pets following the distressing case of a 9-month-old stray kitten that was found infected with rabies. Initially appearing healthy when discovered on June 14, the kitten soon displayed symptoms indicative of the fatal disease.
The unfortunate feline developed lethargy, diminished appetite, began vomiting, and exhibited neurological signs such as tremors, lack of coordination, and biting — the tell-tale symptoms of a rabies infection. Given the grim prognosis associated with this disease, the kitten was humanely euthanized.
Rabies: An Ever-Present Threat
“While this case is unfortunate, it is not unexpected as rabies is regularly detected in Michigan’s wildlife — particularly in bats and skunks. This means the virus is present in the community, making it fundamentally important to vaccinate domestic animals against rabies,” warned Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Nora Wineland.
To put the threat into perspective, as of June 28, there have been 14 confirmed cases of rabies in the state, including the Oakland County kitten. The other instances involved eight bats and five skunks across seven different counties in the Lower Peninsula.
Prevention is the Best Cure
Rabies can infect any mammal, including humans, which underscores the need for widespread pet and livestock vaccination. “By vaccinating pets and livestock against the virus, as well as keeping them from contact with wildlife, we can protect both animal health and public health,” stated Wineland.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) advises that all pets, including those who primarily stay indoors, should receive the rabies vaccine. It’s worth noting that Michigan law requires dogs and ferrets to be currently vaccinated against the virus.
If you suspect that your pet has had contact with potentially rabid wildlife, contact your veterinarian or MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939.
Story Source: Fox 2 Detroit