Puppy tests positive for rabies in Agency Village
PIERRE, S.D. — Health officials say a 3-month-old Beagle Dachshund mix puppy in Agency Village has tested positive for rabies. The South Dakota Department of Health is now urging any individuals who may have been in contact with the animal’s saliva to seek a medical consultation.
The rabid puppy was found on Aug. 6 in the Crawfordsville Housing area on the south side of Agency Village. The Department of Health says anyone who may have been in contact with it on or after July 27 should either contact their physician or the department itself at 1-800-592-1861.
The puppy has since been removed from the community.
Rabies is a fatal, but preventable viral disease. It’s contracted by exposure to a rabid animal — typically through a bite. Scratches and saliva contact with broken skin or mucus membranes are also possible routes of transmission.
Prompt treatment following exposure can prevent rabies. Treatment includes administration of rabies immune globulin and a series of four doses of vaccine administered in the arm.
Skunks are the primary reservoir of rabies in South Dakota, and officials say they are the likely source of the puppy’s disease. Since 2009, 130 skunks and 9 dogs have tested positive for rabies in South Dakota.
Pet owners are encouraged to make sure their animals’ rabies vaccinations are up to date. More information about rabies can be found on the department’s website at doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/Rabies.aspx.