Dog Positive for Rabies After Encounter with Raccoon

Onondaga County Health Commissioner, Dr. Indu Gupta announced on January 1st that a dog in Onondaga County has tested positive for rabies after an encounter with a wild raccoon while on a walk with its owner. This dog, a household pet, was not up-to-date on its rabies vaccinations and began having seizures and a change in behavior after being injured by the raccoon. Four residents were exposed to rabies as a result of contact with the dog, and all were given post-exposure prophylaxis.

In 2020, fourteen animals (four bats, one cat, one dog, two skunks, five raccoons, and one fox) have tested positive for rabies in Onondaga County; there are no human cases in Onondaga County.

Dr. Gupta explained, “It can take several weeks to several months for rabies symptoms to appear. Although rabies is fatal and there is no treatment, it is PREVENTABLE in both humans and pets. If a pet has contact with a wild animal, consult your veterinarian immediately for care and a rabies booster if necessary.”