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Is it rabies or not..

Posted by Sandra on April 25, 2009

We woke up this morning to the sound of our purebred Sheltie being attacked by a big ol’ mama raccoon in the backyard.  I looked out the back door and saw the beast wrapped around Gizmo’s head, while the dog was yelping pitifully and they were both rolling around in circles.  It seemed to go on forever!

Gizzy got away, the raccoon hopped up on the 6′ fence and waddled a few feet before leaping off the other side into the woods.  We had seen what we believe to be the same raccoon a few days before, at early dusk.  For what it’s worth, it is a huge myth that a raccoon must have rabies if she’s out during the day – it’s possible that she didn’t gather enough food for her brood, or just got hungry (ala our midnight snack).  She seemed healthy both times we saw her, indicating with great chance that she’s fine.

But at what cost to my family if, by some infantessimal chance she is infected with rabies and passed it onto our beloved dog, who can pass it on to any one of us?

We rushed the dog to the vet, who informed us that per CDC guidelines he should be quarantined for 6 months – the maximum amount of time it would take for rabies symptoms to appear.  The symptoms can arrive as soon as 2 weeks, however.  The dog will remain there for the weekend to ensure none of the cuts and bites get infected.

Wasn’t he vaccinated, you ask?  Well, we thought he was.  He was not up to date.

Sigh.  It’s quite expensive to quarantine an animal – possibly as much as $20.00 a day.  Frankly, this dog has cost me more than a kid has.  Between the initial cost of an AKC registered purebred, to the cost of reparing his broken leg after the 70 pound Lab stepped on him when he was only 6 months old, to the cost of replacing carpet that the damned dog has dug up over the past three years, to replacing the back yard someday because he digs holes on every square inch… he’s just drained me.  I won’t pay to board him for six months.  I just can’t.  And there’s no way to tell if the raccoon is ill, because we can’t get anyone to come out to catch it – and even if we did, we have woods behind our house – what are the odds that there are more than one raccoon there?  Quite high.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Autumn loves this dog.  He’s her best friend in the world.  They do EVERYTHING together.  She can’t walk across the room without Gizmo being at her ankles.  This will crush her.  Damnit.


One Response to “Is it rabies or not..”

  1. Michelle said

    Oh no. That’s really painful, especially if your little ones are as attached to their family pet as I was when younger (and I still had a dog). It was never easy to hear bad news about a pet, and I only ever had to do it from the child’s side — I can’t imagine the pain and heartache that comes from being on the momma side of that conversation.

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