Rabies Hits Wiregrass

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There's another case of rabies in the area, and officials are encouraging everyone to get their pets vaccinated.

Both a cat and dog have reportedly been attacked by a rabid raccoon in Pike County, in less than a month apart.

One veterinary office says they've seen three rabies cases in the past week.

And officials say it could happen again. Doctor Jeff Spurlock and his family say they want what's best for their dogs.

And that includes protecting them from rabies.

"We don’t want an epidemic of rabies happening around Troy or in our community. We have two dogs, and when they got all of their shots, one was for rabies so that it would prevent something like that from happening,” says Dr. Jeff Spurlock, Troy resident.

But despite the fact it's the law, authorities say, not enough people vaccinate their pets.

Three rabies cases have come though this office within the past week.

And veterinarians say pet owners need to protect their four-legged friends.

"A dog or cat is usually between you and the animal that’s trying to get to you or get to your animal. So, it’s very important that they have an annual vaccination to build up a good immunity,” says Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doug Hawkins.

Officials say cats and dogs are at a great risk for getting infected with the disease, and veterinarian Doug Hawkins says once an un-treated animal comes in contact with the disease, they must be put down.

That's something no pet owner wants to hear. If bitten by a rabid animal, officials say wash the wound immediately with soap and water to help avoid infection.

Then, call a doctor.

Health officials say the treatment for rabies has become less painful, with a series of six shots over one month period. One, where the bite was, and the rest are administered in the arm instead of a series in the stomach.