UPDATE: The State determined that kitten in question did not have rabies.
BOULDER CITY - Boulder City Animal Control was alerted last night to a suspected case of rabies in a kitten found in Boulder City. They are asking the public to be aware of the symptoms in both pets and humans.
Residents found what appeared to be an abandoned kitten in the area of ABC Park on Adams Avenue about two weeks ago. They took the kitten home, but about a week later, the kitten became ill. The residents took the cat to a veterinarian, where numerous tests were done. Unfortunately, the kitten was in critical condition not able to be treated. The decision was made to humanely euthanize it. The veterinarian’s initial diagnosis was that the cat may have been infected with rabies. The family that took in the kitten has been advised to start the rabies exposure protocol.
Boulder City Animal Control Office received notification in the evening of July 12 and is sending the kitten’s remains to the State laboratory for mandated testing. “We hope to have the results with a few days,” said Ann Inabnitt, Supervisor for Boulder City Animal Control. “While this is still a suspected case of rabies, we want to be diligent in sharing this information immediately. All mammals are capable of spreading the virus. That’s why it is so important to keep your pets up to date on the rabies vaccine.”
If you have taken in an abandoned pet in the past month, contact animal control at email@example.com and get it to the vet for rabies vaccinations. Rabies cases in domestic animals do occur in Southern Nevada, but are far more common in wild animals such as racoons and coyotes. “We don’t know if the kitten came in contact with other humans or pets prior to the resident taking it home,” said Chief Shea. “Rabies spreads through saliva, not just through animal bites, a common misconception. If not treated immediately, the results are always fatal.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of rabies start with flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, weakness, headaches and discomfort. As the disease progresses, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, and abnormal behavior and aggression can occur. “You and your pets should exercise caution if you encounter abandoned animals, especially if they appear to be ill,” Inabnitt added. “Keep the animal under observation and call Animal Control personnel to take it in for medical examination.”
For more information on rabies, please the in Southern Nevada Health District page at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/Health-Topics/rabies/.