published Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Gilmer County, Ga., puppy bitten by raccoon euthanized

A Gilmer County, Ga., puppy has been euthanized after being bitten by a rabid raccoon, according to a news release.

The 6-month old, mixed breed puppy was attacked on May 8 while sitting on the owner's porch Roy Road in Ellijay, Ga. The owner shot the raccoon, according to Gilmer County Environmental Health Manager Andrea Martin.

Martin shipped the specimen to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory on May 9, and it tested positive for rabies the next day.

The puppy received its first rabies vaccine on April 20, but the initial shot takes 28 days to protect the animal fully, the release says. The owner chose to have the puppy euthanized, rather than keep it in a six-month quarantine, due to the severity of its injuries and its level of exposure.

"This is a particularly sad case because the owner did the right thing by having this pet vaccinated against rabies," Martin said in the release. "Unfortunately, the dog was exposed to the disease before the vaccine could take full effect."

No humans were exposed to the virus.

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