Cabot family's pet cat tests positive for rabies - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Cabot family's pet cat tests positive for rabies

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A Cabot family's pet cat has tested positive for rabies.

The Arkansas Department of Health says rabies has not been seen in Lonoke County since 2002 when a bat tested positive.

Typically dogs and cats in Arkansas develop rabies when they are infected by a rabid skunk. The last time a rabid skunk found in Lonoke County test positive was in 1996.

The cat had not been vaccinated against rabies and only appeared sick the same day it died.

"This should serve as a reminder to anyone who has pets to make sure they are current on their vaccinations," said Susan Weinstein, DVM, state public health veterinarian. Changes in Arkansas law in 2010 allow for vaccination for rabies once every three years for dogs and cats with the appropriate vaccine.

So far in 2013, the state has had 93 rabid animals (87 skunks, one bat, two dogs, one horse, one cow and now one cat) test positive for rabies.

Three cases of rabies have already been found in the north western part of Pulaski County, including Maumelle. In each case a skunk uncharacteristically came onto someone's property.

Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for no reason, or they may lose their fear of people and seem unnaturally friendly. Staggering, convulsions, choking, frothing at the mouth and paralysis are often present.

If you see an animal acting strangely or need to report an animal bite, call the nearest local health unit.