You're Responsible for your Pet's Health

There are some complaints surfacing about the way local health officials are treating an instance of a contagious disease. It involves 2-dogs that died from rabies.

But, despite the complaints the Health Department may have done all it could do.

Sandra Rodriguez loves dogs. She raises them to put up for adoption.

Rodriguez uses Parkway Animal Hospital for her dogs' needs. But she's concerned about a dog that died of rabies at the facility last week.

When the owner brought the dog to the clinic last Tuesday, Veterinarians suspected rabies and quickly took action. Dr. Carla Hubbard says "We suspected right off so she was in isolation and we had minimal contact. We had very specific people who worked with her and watched what they touched."

Unfortunately the dog had to be euthanized. Friday test results confirmed she had rabies.

Parkway notified the Bay County Health Department, as it is required to do under state law. But, but Health Department officials never warned the public that rabies killed a domesticated pet.

“From what they told me is that the Health Department wanted to keep it quiet because they could not handle the number of phone calls it would generate."

Health officials say they were aware of the rabid dog, but say they don't feel it's necessary to alert the public unless there is a potential rabies outbreak.

Dr. Peter Sylvester, local Health Department Director pointed out preventive measures you can take to ensure your pet doesn't become infected with the disease. "Those of us who have pets should get theirs vaccinated and whether or not we have pets we shouldn't interact with wild animals."

Not only do vaccinations protect your animal from rabies, they're also required by law.

There have been 7-rabid animal cases reported to the Bay County Health Department this year.
Only one of those involved a dog. The others involved raccoons and a horse.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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