Rabies still a concern in Central Park!

NYC Department of Health ALERT!

As we have posted before, there have now been confirmed cases of rabies in raccoons in Manhattan this year. Today the NYC Dept. of Health sent another bulletin reminding us to stay vigilant.

“We have a rabid raccoon issue in the upper Manhattan areas referenced above [Upper East Side, Central Park,Upper West Side & Morningside Park]which apparently is not getting any better, despite the colder weather. “

In 2009, 20 animals have tested positive for rabies in NYC. Please ensure that your pet is up to date on his/her rabies vaccine to ensure their safety, and be on alert while out with your pet.

Please contact the hospital IMMEDIATELY if your pet sustains a bite or if you are not current on your vaccines. More information can be found on the Department of Health’s site

University Animal Hospital
(212) 288-8884
354 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065

Rabies – A Deadly Disease

Rabies is a fatal disease of the nervous system. It is caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including humans. The virus attacks the brain and spinal cord, causing severe nervous system dysfunction and eventually death. While instances of rabies infection are lower than ever, the disease remains a continuing problem. Vaccinating your pet against rabies is a key prevention method.

The most common way to contract rabies is through a bite from an infected animal. When a rabid animal bites, the rabies virus in its saliva passes through the broken skin of the victim. Rabid cats can also transmit rabies through their scratches if they have saliva on their paws.

Skunks, bats, coyotes, foxes, and raccoons are very susceptible to rabies. Cats, dogs, cattle and horses usually contract rabies through encounters with rabid wildlife.

The symptoms of rabies can be quite varied. In general, the disease shows three stages that occur in succession. (NOTE: not every animal will display these signs, so any animal behaving abnormally should be regarded with suspicion.)