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Thread: Need Advice

  1. #1
    Silver Member Fran's Avatar
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    Unhappy Need Advice

    A few months ago someone abandoned 4 puppies on the road where I live. I tried to catch them, but couldn't- they were very skittish. A few days later, my husband caught one of them and brought him home. He is a darling mutt, and we loved him immediately.

    I came home this week just as he and our other outside dog were getting into a fight with a raccoon. I knew this was trouble because the raccoon was out before dark. I tried to get the dogs off the animal and did succeed, and the thing charged me. Buddy( the pup) lunged after the raccoon and diverted it's attention. The big dog rejoined the fight and he killed the raccoon before my brother-in-law could get here with a gun to kill it.

    I took the raccoon to environmental health, and they sent it for testing. It was positive for rabies. The big dog has been immunized for rabies, but Buddy has not. I am wracked with guilt because I didn't get Buddy vaccinated. I was waiting for the spring rabies clinic to save money.

    Environmental services has given me 2 choices for Buddy. Have him euthanized humanely or put him in a double fenced enclosure for 6 months. During that time he could have no physical contact with anyone or any other dog. If he becomes ill, he will have to be shot, because they won't risk euthanizing a rabid animal.

    I was up all night trying to figure out what would be best for Buddy. I can't bear the thought of him being locked away with no one to touch or love on him for 6 months, nor can I stand the thought of him being shot.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    omg. So sorry. How / where would you quarantine him?

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    Silver Member Fran's Avatar
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    Not sure- either we would have to build the enclosure ourselves (double-fenced with barbed wire around the perimeter), or he will be boarded somewhere at our expense. Can't afford that option, so unless our county will allow the confinement to be at home, we don't really have a choice. I found this out by reading the rabies manual for my state, and every county can make it's own rules about how they enforce things. The man I talked to didn't give the particulars and I was too upset to think to ask him. He is off today and is giving us the weekend to decide. Buddy is presently in a regular kennel, not a double fenced one.

    I think the double fence thing is going to be really expensive also, so it may be that we just have to let him go...

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    There are no treatment options avaiable to an exposed animal? That's surprising.

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    Elite Member MsChiff's Avatar
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    Aw what a sad choice! I think I would go with having Buddy euthanized.. only b/c you don't know if the quarantine will work and not having any contact for 6 months is a long time and so heartbreaking. What a horrible circumstance!!! Poor Buddy! So sorry Fran- this is awful!
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Humane Society won't do it?
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    Elite Member Serendipity's Avatar
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    I wouldn't even attempt to tell you which way to go, either option is heartbreaking. I'm so sorry
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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    I know 6 months seems like a long time but if he comes through it all and you get your pet back, he'll take a while but he will adjust and you'll be so happy you did. I only speak from the experience of a friend who came back to Australia after living in the US for years with 2 dogs, and after much soul-searching (will I leave them with friends in NYC or will I take them and put them through quarantine) decided to bring them with him. They had to spend 6 months quarantined but they were well looked after (although not totally isolated) and when they got back together it only took a few days for them to adjust. He would tell you it was worth it, but each situation is different and you will know what's best for you and the little fella.

  9. #9
    czb
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    this really sucks. so sad.

    i would probably have the dog put down and i hate saying that. the reason is that because as a young puppy, buddy would need a lot of human/dog contact to be well-socialized. i don't see how he would get that if he was boarded away for such a long period during his formative years.

    so sorry about this.

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by czb View Post
    this really sucks. so sad.

    i would probably have the dog put down and i hate saying that. the reason is that because as a young puppy, buddy would need a lot of human/dog contact to be well-socialized. i don't see how he would get that if he was boarded away for such a long period during his formative years.

    so sorry about this.
    I agree with what you're saying but on the other hand, you hear of rescue dogs who spend their formative years chained up in a yard and they go on to be happy, loving dogs. It depends on the dog and other factors like whether the kennel keepers will interact with the dogs - when my friend's dogs were in quarantine they had no physical contact but their keepers would spend a lot of time talking to them and I think they were given toys etc to keep them occupied. I know when he went out to check on them he was so impressed with the way they were being looked after it really put his mind at rest.

    I guess I would try anything before putting an animal down, but I can see in some cases it is the only option. But hopefully, not in this one.

    ETA: And of course I come from a rabies-free country so I haven't dealt with the reality of how infected animals can be so dangerous and why euthanasia is an unfortunate necessity.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Looks like isolation is your only choice, bizarre that there's no actual treatment for canine rabies for canines.

    Of course, that's pretty much just jail before an agonizing death.

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    A*O
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    Tough choice. Even if you quarantine him there's still a chance he has rabies and will die anyway. Perhaps it's better to let him go now rather than putting him (and you) through 6 months of uncertainty.
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    Silver Member Abbey Normal's Avatar
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    I found this:

    Rabies is almost always fatal. However, if a dog or person is bitten by a rabid animal and begins treatment prior to experiencing symptoms, there is an effective post-exposure treatment, which involves an injection of immune globulin and several rabies vaccines given to the infected victim over a 28-day period.

    Sounds like an expensive treatment regimine, but it would be worthwhile to call your vet and find out what they think.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    If you quarentine, call the animal control people and see if they will do t for you. You would have to use extreme caution! I mean EXTREME. You do not want to have those horrible shots. Call the state Amimal department or a large vet university. I am sick about Buddy, but you cannot risk death and that is what you will be facing if you unknowingly come in contact with one drop of his saliva. OMG. This is bad, but you really will have to face reality and follow the advice of the pros. Start calling. Rabies is a horrible thing-to dogs and humans. Our bats ^ raccoons have it occasionaly here. Just awful I am so sorry. I am thinking they will say putting him to sleep would be kinder. You put it oiff too long, they will have to shoot him fron a distance. Not a pretty sight.
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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm so sorry, Fran. This is a tough one. I'm an avid animal lover who has gone to some extremes to treat mine, so I know my first instinct would be to save him if it was at all possible. But that might not be the right choice in this case. I have a great vet and I would definitely seek his advice before making a decision. I would probably also read everything on the internet I could find.

    It seems to me that six months is an awfully long incubation period, even though that's what's required by animal control. Someone I worked with several years ago had a similar situation--neither of her dogs were immunized and a rabid squirrel got into their basement and was killed by the dogs. Both developed symptoms within a few weeks and had to be put down. I'm sure that doesn't sound comforting, but what I mean to say is, I think if he's infected you would know much sooner than 6 months.
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