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Environmental Health Services of the Garrett County Health Department reports the second case of laboratory-confirmed rabies in Garrett County for 2019. On May 30, an altercation involving a raccoon and two dogs occurred in the Accident area. Both of the dogs are currently vaccinated against rabies.

The raccoon specimen was submitted to the Maryland Department of Health Rabies Laboratory on May 30, with positive results for the rabies virus being received on May 31. Following standard protocol, both dogs were immediately evaluated by a licensed veterinarian. The dogs will be closely monitored under the owner’s control for the next 45 days.

It is important to remember that if your pet is exposed to a wild animal, do not handle your pet within two hours after contact. If it is necessary to handle your pet, wear protective gloves and immediately wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. If you have been bitten by a wild animal that cannot be captured or exposed to an animal suspected of having rabies, seek medical treatment immediately.

Pet owners are urged to check the vaccination status of their dogs, cats, and ferrets. All dogs and cats are required, by law, to be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age and can be vaccinated as early as three months. The Garrett County Health Department will hold the second and final series of low-cost rabies clinics for 2019 in September. All dogs, cats, and ferrets at least three months of age are eligible for vaccination. For more information about rabies or rabies clinics call Environmental Health Services at 301-334-7760.