Pet owners statewide, but especially in western Nebraska, are being strongly encouraged to have their animals vaccinated for rabies.
Sidney Mayor Wendall Gaston noted at the end of a recent city council meeting that in towns near Sidney, cats and skunks with rabies have been discovered. Gaston urged residents not to feed and harbor feral cats.
Dr. Ken Cook, of Sidney Veterinary Hospital, says he’s been contacted by Colorado health officials who say northeast Colorado has been hit hard with rabies cases. Cook says a horse near Peetz died in April.
He stressed that pet owners should have animals vaccinated every two years. Once an animal gets rabies it’s too late to save it from death.
Residents are urged not to pick up stray cats along roads.
Cook has put on rabies vaccination and education clinics in Potter, Dalton, Gurley and Peetz. He says they have been well attended and offer reduced price vaccinations.
Skunk bites are the primary cause of rabies in cats locally Cook says. Cook says symptoms include strange behavior, drooling, viciousness and funny walking. Symptoms typically begin to show within a week to 10 days.
By Dave Collins, KSID, Sidney