NMDOH: Bernalillo County puppy tests positive for rabies

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For the first time in a decade, New Mexico health officials reported a case of a dog testing positive for rabies.

The state’s Department of Health reported a puppy in Bernalillo County recently tested positive for rabies. There is reportedly no ongoing risk to the public at this time.

Officials say the puppy wasn’t old enough to get the rabies vaccine. They suspect she contracted rabies in Texas and recently arrived in New Mexico.

The symptoms became so severe that veterinarians had to euthanize the puppy.

According to NMDOH, this is the first reported case of rabies in a dog since 2013. It is also the first reported case of rabies in a dog in Bernalillo County since 2006.

NMDOH has reportedly identified all of the people and animals who came in contact with the puppy. Everyone received post-exposure shots as a precaution and no other animals required euthanasia.

The pet owners will have to monitor them closely for 45 days after getting booster shots.

Officials want to remind you rabies vaccination is mandatory for dogs and cats over three months old. They also recommend it for other animals, such as horses.

Rabies symptoms include a lack of coordination, tremors and aggression.

NMDOH recommends these safety steps:

  • Keep up-to-date on pets’ vaccinations
  • Ensure pets wear current license tags on their collar confirming their vaccination status  
  • Call your veterinarian if your cat or dog was bitten or scratched
  • Avoid wild or unfamiliar animals
  • Do not attempt to feed, approach or touch wild animals (alive or dead)
  • In the event of an animal bite or exposure to saliva, wash the affected area immediately thoroughly with soap and water, and seek medical attention promptly   
  • Rabies vaccines are recommended for anyone who has direct contact with a bat, or who finds a bat in the room where they were sleeping or where a child was unattended  
  • Report any exposure or bites to your local animal control and contact the New Mexico Department of Health at (505) 827-0006.