Rabies on the High Plains

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — There has been at least one confirmed cases of rabies in 15 of our area’s counties so far this year.

Dr. Beau Schilling D.V.M. with Swann Animal Clinic in Amarillo says, “Where we live we mostly see it in wildlife, such as we discussed earlier with skunks, bats, coyotes. Now occasionally, the higher-profile cases will get into our domestic animals.”

Dr. Schilling says while there are several cases in our area so far this year, for most pet owners, especially in a city like Amarillo, the chances of your family pet being infected are really low.

“We rarely see it,” said Dr. Schilling. “And it’s usually in wildlife, not found in pets. So it’s important to be aware of it and think of it, be safe about it, but it’s not common.”

One of the reasons for this, advancements with vaccines.

“Not all vaccines are effective, case in point, influenza, or some other vaccines, “explained Dr. Schilling. “Yes they are effective and helpful, but they’re not very, very effective where virtually every pet that gets vaccinated, will not contract rabies.”

But if your pet isn’t vaccinated, rabies infections are fatal, every single time.

“As we say in veterinary medicine, rabies is universally fatal,” said Dr. Schilling. “So if pets get the virus or a horse gets the virus, they do die. There is not a treatment for rabies.”


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