California Stray Kitten Tests Positive for Rabies

Contact with stray caused dozens to receive rabies shots.

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At least 60 people are undergoing rabies shots after coming in contact with a stray kitten in San Ramon, California, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The kitten was adopted as a family pet after it was found on the street in October. The family took the kitten to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center the next day for a check-up where the kitten was found to be a little dehydrated and have worms, but otherwise ok, veterinary hospital administrator Margaret Urquhart tells the newspaper.

The family returned to the center a month later because the kitten had a fever and was acting strangely, the newspaper reports. At the hospital, the kitten began exhibiting neurological signs, including difficulty walking and becoming easily agitated, Urquhart says.

The kitten was euthanized November 20 and its brain was sent to county health officials for analysis. The rabies test came back positive.

County health officials decided 35 people at the veterinary center should receive rabies shots, including one who was bitten by the kitten, reports the newspaper. An additional 26 people who came in contact with the kitten are also undergoing rabies shots.

Last year, 184 animals in California tested positive for rabies, consisting of mostly bats and skunks, reported the newspaper. Only two cats and one dog were found with rabies.

Posted: Dec. 12, 2005, 3p.m.

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