Raccoons that attacked two small dogs in Lantana and Lake Clarke Shores have tested positive for rabies, health officials said Friday.
The animals, a dachshund named Petey and a Chihuahua named Rosita, were both current on their rabies vaccines, meaning they will likely be fine. They will be monitored at home for 45 days, said agency spokesman Tim O’Connor. No humans were exposed, he added.
The dogs were bitten by two different raccoons. The dachshund was attacked on Monday in Lantana, near the Intracoastal Waterway. A landscaper later found a dead raccoon on the property, and it was handed over to Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control. The Chihuahua was bitten in its backyard in Lake Clarke Shores on Thursday, where a sluggish animal was discovered.
It’s a sobering reminder that rabies is active in local wildlife, making it imperative that pet owners keep their animals current on their rabies vaccines, O’Connor said. Children should be cautioned not to try to touch wild animals. Rabies is a nervous system disease that can cause death. Humans exposed to rabies are treated with rabies immunization and rabies specific immune globulin.
As of March 20, 29 human exposures to rabies have been logged by health officials in Palm Beach County, down from 38 exposures at this time last year.
If your pet is bitten by a wild animal, seek veterinary assistance for the animal immediately and contact Animal Care & Control at 561-233-1200.