Confirmed case of rabies discovered in Gravel Switch

Published 10:03 am Thursday, December 7, 2023

By Lance Gaither

Animal control officials in Marion County confirmed the that a dog has contracted rabies after contact with an infected wild skunk. The case was confirmed in Gravel Switch, just across the Boyle County line.

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Kentucky Law requires pet dogs to have an up-to-date rabies vaccination. Although no cases have been confirmed in Boyle County, Boyle County Animal Control is urging residents to ensure their pets are vaccinated and know what signs to look for.

Those signs include:

• Fever

• Lethargy

• Excessive Drooling

• Aggression

• Change in voice or bark

• Sensitivity to light

• Unsteadiness (disorientation/appearance of being drunk)

• Hallucinations (barking/biting/snapping at inanimate objects)

Residents also should be aware of all wildlife around them. The most common carriers of rabies are skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and coyotes, according to animal control officials.

“We do not know how many skunks are infected or if they have migrated to Boyle County. Therefore, we are issuing a rabies awareness warning out of an abundance of caution,”  said Sissy Slone, Boyle County Animal Control Shelter Director. “If you have not had your animals vaccinated, please make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Rabies can spread very quickly and before we know it, we have an epidemic on our hands.”

If you are bitten by a wild animal or an unknown domestic animal, seek medical treatment immediately to receive a rabies post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.

According to the CDC, rabies has an incubation period that can last up to several months in humans. Once symptoms occur, the disease has a nearly 100 percent fatality rate.

Unusual animal behaviors should be reported to Boyle County Animal Control at 859-238-1117. After hours or on weekends, notify Danville Dispatch at 859-238-1220.

Additional information can be given by calling Sissy Slone, Shelter Manager, Boyle County Animal Control at 859-238-1117.