Rabies cases up in Arkansas - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Rabies cases up in Arkansas

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(KATV) The number of animals that have tested positive for rabies in the state is up to 141 animals. The norm is 47.

The latest case was reported in a stray dog that a Pottsville resident took in. The dog was put down by the vet after being diagnosed. Rabies is a deadly viral infection that is mainly spread by infected animals, and signs of the disease are not always obvious.

Tricia Power with Bryant Animal Control says the idea that you will know an animal has the virus because they're foaming at the mouth isn't always the case. "However the animal will show signs and most likely die within a very short window of time, approximately 10-days."

Power says rabies travel through the central nervous system so they can't do blood test. They quarantine the animal to see if it shows symptoms and gets ill. In extreme cases brain tissue of the deceased animal is sent to the health department for testing to identify the strain and where it came from.

It is state law to vaccinate your dog to prevent infection, but it's estimated up to half of all dogs are not. If your pet is beaten or gets a hold of a rabid animal, a booster shot can save your four-legged friend.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, so far this year there have been 115 skunks, 21 bats, two cows and three dogs that tested positive for rabies. Last year there were 60 rabid animal cases.