VALLEY STREAM, NY - Central Veterinary Associates is urging cat owners to have their pets vaccinated for rabies, not only to ensure their pet's health, but because it is mandated by New York City and New York State law. This comes after a stray kitten had tested positive for rabies.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) recently reported that a stray kitten that was seen at a veterinary hospital in Manhattan on August 21 tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found in a parking lot in Livingston, New Jersey. While it was being examined, the kitten - which exhibited signs of illness as the result of being infected - was lying down and not sitting up, had tremors and was easily agitated. It also bit one of the veterinarians before it died. Results showed the kitten was positive for rabies. Investigations by both the NYC DOHMH and the New Jersey Department of Health showed that eight people were either bitten by or exposed to the animal.
According to the Mayo Clinic, rabies is a deadly virus that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected animal. The NYC DOMHM reported that, so far this year, 10 animals (eight in the Bronx and two from Manhattan) tested positive for rabies. Since 1992, when raccoon rabies first appeared in New York City, there have been 13 cats that have tested positive for rabies, eleven of which were strays.
The signs or symptoms of rabies are not detected until the disease is in its later stages, often days before death, the Mayo Clinic states. Signs and symptoms may include fever, headache, agitation, anxiety, confusion, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, hydrophobia (fear of water) because of the difficulty in swallowing, hallucinations, insomnia and partial paralysis.
"It is important that your pet be vaccinated for rabies, not just for your pet's health but because it is required under New York City and New York State law," said Dr. Steven Fox, President/Chief Executive Officer, Central Veterinary Associates. "Feral cats spend a lot of time outdoors and, during that time, they may encounter and be bitten by another animal that may be infected. If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with an infected animal, contact your veterinarian immediately."
For more information, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.
About Central Veterinary Associates
Central Veterinary Associates is a 24-hour, full-service hospital that provides optimal small animal medicine, including exotic medicine. The main hospital is located in Valley Stream, which provides 24-hour care at its state-of-the-art facility. Central Veterinary Associates also has other convenient locations in Great Neck, Bayside, Forest Hills, Far Rockaway and Belle Harbor. The hospital features intensive care units and intravenous infusion pumps and offers state-of-the-art radiology, endoscopy, ultrasonography, otoscopy and dentistry services. Central Veterinary Associates has over 100 staff members, including 14 veterinarians, as well as a board-certified radiologist and surgeon. For more information, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.