Weatherford Democrat

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January 24, 2013

County residents warned of rabies cases

Parker County Sheriff’s Animal Control Division has issued a public service announcement concerning rabies. Sheriff’s animal control officers have encountered several positive rabies cases within the county.

Sheriff’s Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said skunks are the primary cases which have been reported.

“There have been 10 skunks which tested positive for rabies and at least one dog case has been discovered in the county since the beginning of the year,” Kessler said.

The cases are not isolated to a specific section or neighborhood.

“The reports have been scattered throughout Parker County,” Kessler said.

Numerous exposure cases have also been reported.

“To date, we have had 26 non-vaccinated rabies exposure cases of domesticated and livestock animals,” Kessler said.

Animal control officers received the latest results of an exposed, non-vaccinated dog case Thursday.

“We want to stress the importance of having your domestic and livestock animals vaccinated for rabies,” Kessler said.

She added February through March and October through November are the common breeding seasons for skunks and people frequently see more of skunks out and about during those time periods.

“We extend our message to the public to avoid all contact with skunks and wild animals,” Kessler said. “And to safeguard your pets and livestock by having them properly vaccinated.”

Signs of rabies include, but are not limited to:

• Loss of appetite.

• Aggressiveness/irritability.

•  Hypersensitivity to light, touch and sound.

•  Foaming of the mouth.

•  Fever.

•  Lethargy/paralysis.

•  Seizures.

•  Disorientation/staggering.

If you believe you, your pet or livestock animal have been exposed to rabies, please contact the Parker County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division immediately at 817-594-8845.

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