City of Alexandria, VA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2009
A dog that was recently brought to an Alexandria veterinary clinic was confirmed to be positive for rabies. The rabid dog had bitten another dog. Unfortunately, the dog that was bitten was euthanized because it did not have a current rabies vaccination. Residents should note that rabies is usually a fatal disease and is most often transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or when saliva comes into contact with an open wound or mucous membrane (such as nose or mouth).
The Alexandria Health Department urges residents to take the following steps to protect themselves, their families and their pets against rabies:
• Make sure your pets are vaccinated against rabies and their shots are up to date. By law, all dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies.
Rabies is common in Virginia and it is essential that pet owners continue to vaccinate their pets at regular intervals. If you or your pet is attacked or bitten by another animal (wild or domestic), promptly report it to your veterinarian, Animal Control or the Health Department (703.838.4400, ext. 326).
For more information about rabies, please visit the following Web sites.
For additional information and tips on rabies prevention, please call Holly Feltner at the Alexandria Health Department, 703.838.4400, ext. 326, or call the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, Animal Control Division, at 703.838.4774.