Officials issue rabies information after Windsor skunk scare

Published 11:47 am Saturday, October 11, 2008

WINDSOR — A skunk that sprayed, and may have attacked, a dog chained up in a yard Monday has since tested positive for rabies, health officials warned.

The dog will receive a booster shot and stay under a state-mandated 45-day observation period, said Jay Duell of the Western Tidewater Health District.

Duell said the dog was a 2-year-old mixed breed that weighed about 40 pounds. The incident occurred in the Shiloh Drive area of Isle of Wight County, according to a press release.

Details of the attack were not known because there were no eyewitnesses, but the dog’s owner told animal control authorities in Windsor that the dog was chased by the skunk and got sprayed, Duell said. It wasn’t clear if the dog was also bitten by the skunk. Animal control officers were able to capture the skunk for rabies testing.

Health officials strongly urge the public to protect their families and pets by doing the following:

* If your pet has been in contact with an animal that might be rabid, contact Isle of Wight County Animal Control at (757) 365-6318, or the Isle of Wight County Health Department at (757) 357-9326.

* Seek medical treatment promptly 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 or the Isle of Wight County Health Department if you have any questions about pat vaccinations.

* Confine your pets to your property.

* Securely seal garbage containers with lids.

* State law requires all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months be vaccinated against rabies.

For more information on rabies, contact Isle of Wight County Animal Control or the Isle of Wight County Health Department.