Kerr County has now had a second rabies case of the year confirmed in a wild animal – this time in a deceased opossum.
Kerr County Animal Services was advised of an opossum that came into contact with a property owner’s dogs, according to KCAS Director Reagan Givens. The suspected animal was dispatched and picked up by a KCAS officer on March 25 on Meadowview Lane and sent to a lab for testing.
The lab followed protocol and determined a positive result after deeming the specimen untestable due to decomposition. The property owner whose pets were exposed was notified of the proper steps to follow after a suspected exposure to rabies.
“According to Texas law, if a cat or dog is bitten or has made contact with an animal known to be rabid, then that pet should be humanely euthanized. Many pet owners are unwilling to do that, understandably, and in that case the protocol then depends on if the pets are current on their rabies vaccinations,” Givens said.
If the exposed family pets have been previously vaccinated against rabies, they should be revaccinated immediately and restrained or confined for a period of 45 days. If the pets have not had their rabies shots, then they should get vaccinated immediately and be placed in strict isolation for 90 days, with booster rabies shots given in the third and eighth weeks of isolation.
Pet owners are required by a Kerr County Commissioners’ Court order to have their dogs and cats vaccinated by the time the animals are 4 months old. Booster vaccines should then be received at least once every three years, and pet owners should keep proper certification that their pets are vaccinated.
Anyone noticing a domestic or wild animal behaving abnormally is asked to make a note of its location and immediately call Kerr County Animal Services at (830) 257-3100 or call local law enforcement. Suspected cases of rabies may also be reported to the Zoonosis Control office in San Antonio by calling (210) 949-2048.
The county’s first case of rabies was a skunk, discovered just last week on Forest Circle, just off Bandera Highway.