Cabot family's pet cat tests positive for rabies

A Cabot family's pet cathas tested positive for rabies.

The Arkansas Department ofHealth says rabies has not been seen in Lonoke County since 2002 when a battested positive.

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

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

"This shouldserve as a reminder to anyone who has pets to make sure they are current ontheir vaccinations," said Susan Weinstein, DVM, state public healthveterinarian. Changes in Arkansas law in 2010 allow forvaccination for rabies once every three years for dogs and cats with theappropriate vaccine.

So far in2013, the state has had 93 rabid animals (87 skunks, one bat, two dogs, onehorse, one cow and now one cat) test positive for rabies.

Three cases of rabies havealready been found in the north western part of Pulaski County, includingMaumelle. In each case a skunk uncharacteristically came onto someone'sproperty.

Rabid animals may attack people or other animals for noreason, 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 reportan animal bite, call the nearest local health unit.