ALBUQUERQUE, NM – For the first time in a decade, New Mexico health officials reported a case of a dog testing positive for rabies.
The state Department of Health reported that a puppy in Bernalillo County recently tested positive for rabies. There is reportedly no ongoing risk to the public at this time.
Officials say the puppy was not old enough to receive the rabies vaccine. They suspect he contracted rabies in Texas and recently arrived in New Mexico.
The symptoms became so severe that veterinarians had to euthanize the puppy.
According to NMDOH, this is the first reported case of rabies in a dog since 2013. It is also the first reported case of rabies in a dog in Bernalillo County since 2006.
NMDOH has reportedly identified all people and animals that came into contact with the puppy. All received post-exposure vaccinations as a precaution and no other animals required euthanasia.
Pet owners will need to monitor their pets closely for 45 days after receiving booster shots.
The authorities want to remind you that the rabies vaccine is mandatory for dogs and cats over three months old. They also recommend it for other animals, such as horses.
Symptoms of rabies include lack of coordination, tremors, and aggression.
NMDOH recommends these safety measures:
- Stay up to date on your pets’ vaccinations
- Make sure pets have current license tags on their collars confirming their vaccination status.
- Call your veterinarian if your cat or dog was bitten or scratched
- Avoid wild or unknown animals.
- Do not try to feed, approach or touch wild animals (live or dead)
- In case of an animal bite or exposure to saliva, immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
- The rabies vaccine is recommended for anyone who has direct contact with a bat, or who finds a bat in the room where they slept or where a child was unattended.
- Report any exposures or bites to your local animal control and contact the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006.