Health officials in Arkansas say that they have confirmed a case of rabies in a dog. Details are scant, as they always are in these kinds of reports, but we know the dog was found in Mississippi County. Mississippi county is located in Northeast Arkansas, just south of the Missouri Bootheel.
The statement from Arkansas Department of Health explains that the dog was exposed to a skunk about a month ago; the dog’s vaccination status is unknown, however vaccination is virtually 100% effective at preventing the infection in household pets.
“Rabid animals can pose a threat to pets and livestock,” said Susan Weinstein. “Situations like this are a critical reminder to everyone to make sure their pets and livestock are current on their vaccinations.” Weinstein is state public health veterinarian with the Department.
In Arkansas all dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated against the disease.
This dog marks the 23rd rabid animal found so far this year, which is as many as the state saw in all of 2016. It is also the first rabid animal found in Missouri County in more than 20 years. In recent years skunks have been, by far, the most-represented animal when it comes to rabies in Arkansas.
The Department says that everyone who is known to have had contact with the dog has been found and is being evaluated.