A goat in Caledonia tested positive for rabies last week. Officials say the goat was bitten by a rabid raccoon. Ontario County has not seen a case of rabies in about two years.
A goat in Caledonia, Livingston County tested positive for rabies last week.
The Livingston County Health Department says the goat was bitten by a raccoon and received the disease through the bite.
Rabies attacks the central nervous system in mammals. It is most commonly found in raccoons, skunks, and bats in our area. However, the deadly virus can spread to people from the saliva of infected animals.
In Ontario County, the last rabies case was two years ago; a Raccoon tested in positive in 2016.
Signs of rabies in wildlife include the inability to walk, the appearance of “drunkenness,” unwillingness to drink water or eat, drooling, aggressive behavior, or any significant change in temperament.
Symptoms of rabies include: Fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. It is advised to seek immediate medical attention after a bite or suspected bite. There is no specific treatment for rabies. Once symptoms appear, it's nearly always fatal. A vaccine beforehand ultimately prevents infection.
Below are steps to prevent acquiring rabies provided by the Livingston County Department of Health:
- Stay away from unfamiliar animals, either wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly
- Thoroughly wash any wound from an animal with soap and water and seek immediate medical attention
- Avoid wild and feral animals, especially if the animal is showing any symptom of rabies.
- Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your pet’s vaccinations current. Getting your pets vaccinated can help stop the spread of rabies from wild animals to humans.
State law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets have current rabies vaccinations, beginning at four months of age. The law for some domestic pets, like cats is unenforced. When it is ignored by owners, there is a risk for infection - especially when an unexpected case appears. An unvaccinated pet that comes into contact with a rabid animal must be kept in strict confinement for six months or be euthanized.
This article includes reporting by our news partner, News10NBC