Just as the warmer temps arrive and dog owners are out and about with their pooches, this is not the news we wanted to hear.

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A dog in Detroit has tested positive for rabies, state health officials announced. The 6 month old puppy is the first in Michigan since 2011 to test positive for rabies. According to the press release the dog was never vaccinated against rabies.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development state the case is the first since the confirmation of a rabid dog in Oakland County back in 2011. Testing to determine the strain of rabies in the infected dog is still taking place.

Both the MDHHS and MDARD are taking this incident as opportunity to stress to all pet owners to have their dogs, and cats, vaccinated against rabies.

“People can be exposed to rabies when they are bitten by a rabid animal. Other possible routes for exposure include getting infectious material in your eyes, nose, or mouth or on fresh cuts in the skin. Make sure pets are vaccinated and avoid contact with stray or wild animals to reduce your risk of exposure to this potentially fatal disease," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for MDHHS.

The state of Michigan requires that dogs and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. It is also important to make sure cats, even those kept strictly indoors, be vaccinated against rabies.

So far this year, there have been seven rabid animals detected in Michigan, state officials said. The other cases include six bats: one each from Clinton, Ingham, Kent, Midland, Oakland and Ottawa counties.

You can get more information on rabies by visiting Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.


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