Puppy euthanized after being exposed to rabid fox
By Kathy Chaffin
A 3-month-old puppy too young to be vaccinated for rabies was euthanized after an encounter with a rabid fox Tuesday.
James Hough, of 2425 7th St., the owner of the male golden retriever named Riley, called Rowan County Animal Control after the dog had contact with a fox that was acting strangely, according to a press release from Rowan County Animal Control. Riley was held in quarantine at the Rowan Animal Shelter pending test results.
Upon being notified that the fox tested positive for rabies, Hough opted to have the puppy euthanized. State law requires pets that have contact with rabid animals to be euthanized or quarantined in a veterinary clinic for six months. Depending on the size of the dog, this can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Dr. Charles Steinman of Salisbury Animal Hospital said most veterinarians prefer to wait until puppies and kittens are 4 months old before vaccinating them for rabies. This allows the pets another month to develop better immunity, he said.
Steinman said it’s important to keep puppies and kittens up so they don’t have contact with raccoons and foxes and that kind of thing. It’s also important that pets vaccinated for the first time not have any exposure to the wild until at least a couple of weeks after a rabies shot is given, he said.
The rabid fox was the ninth case of rabies reported in Rowan County this year. Last year, there were 19 cases of rabies in the county.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-7683.