Gammage: Most animal bites can be prevented

Published 4:03 pm Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Alabama Department of Public Health has designated June 15-19, 2015, as Rabies Awareness and Dog Bite Prevention Week in Alabama, a time to remind the public that Alabama law requires all dogs, cats and ferrets to be currently vaccinated against rabies and that most animal bites can be prevented.

Rabies is a disease of all mammals, including man, and is always considered to be fatal unless preventative treatment is given following the exposure. The primary means of exposure is through a bite or scratch with contaminated saliva from the animal. Transmission of the deadly virus also can occur if saliva contacts the mucous membranes of the eye or mouth.

“I try to stress to parents and children don’t touch stray animals,” says Crenshaw Animal Clinic Veterinarian Alethea Gammage, “parents make sure your children know not to touch a stray animal, even if it looks cute.”

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Vaccination of domestic dogs, cats and ferrets not only protects the animals against rabies, but also minimizes human risk by reducing rabies in domesticated animals. During Rabies and Dog Bite Awareness Week many county rabies officers will be conducting rabies vaccination clinics at reduced fees. The Crenshaw Animal Clinic had their vaccination clinics last week but do rabies vaccination’s in their office on a regular basis.

The Alabama Department of Public Health recommends that if you get an animal bite or scratch, wash the wound thoroughly under running water, immediately seek medical attention from your doctor or a hospital, and report the incident to your county health department for follow-up

For more information regarding rabies and dog bite prevention week please contact Dr. Alethea Gammage at 334-335-5309. If you are looking to get your pet a rabies vaccination you can bring your animal into the Crenshaw Animal Clinic.