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Two raccoons in Sewickley Valley test positive for rabies

| Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 4:18 p.m.

Two raccoons in the Sewickley area have tested positive for rabies, according to the Allegheny County Health Department.

Three dogs were exposed to the raccoons — one found on Park Lane in Glen Osborne and another on Redgate Road in Aleppo, spokesman Guillermo Cole said.

In both incidents, which occurred in April, no humans came in contact with the raccoons, Cole said.

The dogs all were up to date on rabies vaccines, he said.

“They'll be OK most likely,” Cole said. The dogs are to remain within the confines of the homeowner's property, he said.

“If they see any symptoms, they're asked to report it,” Cole said.

The incidents serve as a reminder for pet owners to vaccinate house pets, Cole said.

“Chances of encounters with wildlife increase as the weather warmer,” he said.

“When a raccoon or other wildlife approaches, don't go near it, back away,” Cole said.

He also suggests pet owners wear rubber gloves when inspecting their pets after a possible rabies exposure — especially if bitten or the pet comes in contact with the wild creature's saliva.

If wild animals become threatening, individuals are asked to report it to local police or animal control, he said.

Including the two incidents in the Sewickley area, five rabid animals have been reported across Allegheny County this year, including four raccoons and one stray cat.

In the four incidents involving raccoons, no humans were exposed to rabies, Cole said. Five people and one pet were exposed to rabies in the stray cat incident reported in January.

“We don't want to see rabies develop in humans because it can be fatal,” he said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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