The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported the diagnosis of rabies in a dog from Frederick County on March 8, 2011. This was the first rabid dog in Frederick County since 2008. So far this year there have been 8 cases of rabies in the county. Most cases occurr in wildlife such as racoons, but usually there are a few cats as well and occassionally a dog. Two people were bitten by the rabid dog and are undergoing post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. The livestock on the farm that were exposed to the rabid dog are under quarantine for 6 months.
It is very important to make sure your pets stays up-to-date on it’s rabies vaccination. Frederick County ususally has the most cases of any county in Maryland, and Maryland reports 200-400 cases every year. Prevention is the key as once an animal develops signs of the disease, there is no treatment. There are also significant legal implications if an unvaccinated animals bites someone. Rabies vaccinations in adult dogs are usually good for 3 years. In cats we are currently using a 1-year vaccine, although 3 -year vaccinations are available. If you are unsure of your pet’s status, feel free to contact our office so we can check our records.