Rabies turns up in two raccoons; health department urges caution

Published May 10, 2007


The Hernando County Health Department on Wednesday received positive rabies results from two raccoons involved in a pair of recent incidents.

One raccoon got into a fight with a dog on Mt. Fair Road in Brooksville, while another may have infected a cat on Culbreth Road.

Animals with rabies may show strange behavior, health officials said. Some may be aggressive and attack for no apparent reason, while others may act very tame. They may drool, have difficulty swallowing and stagger or become paralyzed.

The Health Department recommends that residents stick to the following guidelines to keep safe:

-Vaccinate all dogs, cats and ferrets over the age of 3 months against rabies. Vaccinations should be performed by a licensed veterinarian.

-Avoid all free-roaming dogs, cats and wild animals.

-Do not allow your pets to run free. Follow leash laws and keep pets and livestock secured on your property.

-Do not feed or pet wild animals.

-Contact Hernando County Animal Services at 796-5062 to report stray dogs or cats, or to report wild animals exhibiting aggressive or unusual behavior. The Hernando County Health Department can be reached at 540-6800.