Howell County rabies diagnosis leads to euthanization of dogs, shots for people

(MGN Online)

WEST PLAINS, Mo. The Howell County Health Department says a six-week-old puppy that showed symptoms and died recently tested positive for rabies. The puppy had been given to another family, but originated from the Moody area.

The health department says eight other unvaccinated dogs, including the puppy's mother and litter mates, had to be euthanized. None showed symptoms, which can take two weeks to six months to appear. Because the animals were not vaccinated, they had to be quarantined for six months or euthanized.

As of Friday, the Howell County Health Department says 32 people who may have been exposed to the animals are starting rabies post-exposure treatment. They feel they have contacted everyone who came in contact with the animals.

Public health investigators don't know for sure where the rabies exposure originated, but say the puppy's original owners, near the Moody area, witnessed two dead skunks in the area about four weeks prior to the puppy getting sick.

If an animal has already been exposed to rabies, a vaccine won't help. Preventive rabies vaccine clinics, with shots at reduced prices, are being held at multiple locations in Howell County this weekend, as they are each year.

Rabies Clinic Schedule
May 7, 2016Kramer Animal Hospital
8 - 5
(417) 256-2014

West Plains Vet Clinic
8 - noon
(417) 256-4515

Animal Clinic of West Plains
8 - 11:30 at clinic
12:30-2:30 at fairgrounds
(417) 256-6145

Mountain View Farmer’s Market
(by Mountain View Animal Clinic, Dr. Lewis)
(417) 934-2323

Willow Springs Booster Field
9 - 11
(by Willow Springs Animal Health Center, Dr. Lewis)
(417) 469-4138