MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Health officials say a kitten that bit three people in northern Minnesota tested positive for rabies.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says a family in Otter Tail County reported that the 6-month-old cat got into a fight last month with a skunk, leaving it with a bite mark on its leg.
The farm’s owner, her 4-year-old son and her pregnant sister were all then bitten by the kitten, which on Tuesday tested positive for rabies. The kitten was euthanized.
State health officials investigated the incident and recommended post-exposure treatment to five people.
State veterinarians are investigating if other animals on the farm were exposed, including two vaccinated dogs, nine unvaccinated cats, beef cattle and horses.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says that anyone who sees pets or livestock interacting with a skunk should call a veterinarian, as skunks have a high probability of carrying the rabies virus.
Signs of rabies are different for different animals. Dogs may show a variety of signs, ranging from aggression to paralysis. Cats generally become aggressive.
Pet owners are urged to keep their vaccinations up to date. More information on rabies can be found here, or by calling health officials at 651-201-5414.