Colorado health officials say they’ve confirmed rabies in 2 pet dogs so far this year. These mark the first cases of rabies in dogs in the state since a Texas dog was determined to be infected back in 2003. The last time a native dog was found to be rabid was in 1974.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which announced the rabies cases last week, did not give much information about the animals, beyond saying that one lived in Weld County and the other was from Yuma County. The dogs did not, say health officials, expose the general public to rabies but everyone known to have had contact with the dogs has been treated, as a precaution.
These cases bring the state’s total number of confirmed animal rabies cases so far this year to 43. It also serves as a reminder of just how important it is to keep pets vaccinated against the infection. “It’s critical to make sure all your pets are up to date on their vaccinations,” says Dr. Jennifer House. “This not only protects your pet but keeps your whole family safe.”
In Colorado, most rabies cases are found in skunks and bats. In 2016 the state confirmed 88 animal rabies cases, with 58 of those in bats and 25 in skunks.