Oneida County dog exposed to bat with rabies, health department officials say

Whitestown, NY – A dog in Oneida County was abandoned Tuesday to a bat that tested positive for rabies, Health Department officials said.

The bat was picked up from Whitestown and sent to the New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center for testing Monday, according to a Oneida County Health Department press release.

No one was exposed to the infected bat, officials from the health department said.

The dog was currently vaccinated against rabies and, according to the announcement, received a booster vaccination against rabies.

On October 19, the county health department reported that a skunk had tested positive for rabies in Ava. It was collected as part of the USDA Wildlife Service’s routine rabies surveillance. No one was exposed to the skunk.

Signs of rabies are:

  • Animal behaves strangely
  • Animal is acting crazy
  • Shy animal – the animal can get unusually close
  • Drooling or foaming from your mouth

Health Department officials recommend using these signs to stay away from wild or stray animals. If an animal starts acting strange, contact a local animal welfare officer for help.

In 2020, 14 animals – four bats, a cat, a dog, two skunks, five raccoons, and a fox – tested positive for rabies in Onondaga County; There were no human rabies cases in Onondaga County in 2020.

“It can take several weeks to several months for rabies symptoms to appear,” said Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County Health Commissioner, in a press release earlier this year. “Although rabies is fatal and there is no treatment, it is preventable in both humans and pets. If a pet comes into contact with a wild animal, consult your veterinarian immediately for care and, if necessary, a rabies booster vaccination. “

Health Department officials recommend that all cats, dogs, and ferrets three months and older get an updated rabies vaccination, even if they stay indoors.

Dogs and cats must have a rabies vaccination at three months, one year of age, and then every three years. Ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies every year.

For more information on rabies prevention, contact the Oneida County Health Department at 315-798-5064 or log on to their website.

Author James McClendon covers breaking news, crime, and public safety. Do you have a tip, story idea, question or comment? Reach him at 914-204-2815 or jmcclendon@syracuse.com.