Shropshire Star

Rabies scare sees veterinary branch closed - but tests on dog proves negative

A Shropshire veterinary surgery has had to be closed after a dog was brought in with a suspected case of rabies.

Seven Edge Vets where the dog was taken

The branch of Severn Edge Veterinary Group in Ludlow was shut on Tuesday after the animal was brought in with what was thought to have been the infectious and fatal disease.

A spokesperson for Seven Edge Vets declined to to comment on the rabies scare, but did confirm the Eco Park Road branch had been closed on Tuesday.

Defra, who were notified of the possibility that the animal could have had rabies, said the dog has since been tested for the disease and found to be negative.

A spokesperson for Defra said: "We are aware of a reported suspected case of rabies in Shropshire.

"The suspect dog has been tested and is negative. Rabies is no longer suspected in this case."

Defra said rabies is present in the saliva of infected animals and is usually spread by the bite of an infected animal. It can infect all mammals including dogs and humans.

It was eradicated from all animals in the UK except bats in 1922, and the last case in an imported animal outside of quarantine was in 1970.

The disease causes behaviour changes in animals, which can followed by increased aggression. The final stages include saliva frothing at the mouth, general paralysis followed by convulsions and coma before death.

In humans, the disease is fatal once symptoms appear. It can only be prevented if an infected person is treated soon after exposure.

Defra said if you believe an animal may be rabid, whether alive or dead, do not approach and contact the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301, so the animal can be tested.