Veterinarians suggest close monitoring of pets after reported rabies cases

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – It was all smiles Tuesday for Ryan Fowler and his 14-month-old lhatese, Milo.

In the past three weeks, nine animals across the Midstate have tested positive for rabies.

When asked how he keeps Milo safe, Fowler told ABC 27 News he keeps his dog close to his side.

Veterinarians across the Midstate are warning people to keep a close watch over their pets.

“There is always a concern, whether it’s an indoor pet only or an outdoor pet,” Dr. Carrie Vigeant said.

Vigeant, a veterinarian with West Lancaster Animal Hospital, said pets can get the virus when they come into contact with an infected animal. She said once a pet has rabies, it could take days to show any symptoms.

“You could actually see one of two forms,” Vigeant warned.

Symptoms of rabies range from stumbling and drooling to aggression.

Vigeant said a vaccine is required for pets in Pennsylvania and she said it’s the most effective way to protect pets against rabies.

“It’s quite effective as long as the pet is adequately vaccinated by a veterinarian that’s handling the vaccine appropriately,” Vigeant said, “and (the pet) is getting the vaccines at the appropriate interval.”

Vigeant said pets should get their first vaccination at 12 weeks old and then get regular vaccinations for the rest of their lives.

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