More rabid foxes found dead near Cave Junction

The discovery of two more foxes found dead from rabies near Cave Junction has Josephine County health officials warning pet and horse owners to consider vaccinations for their animals.

The discovery brings to nine the number of rabies cases in and around Cave Junction in the past year, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In Oregon, dogs already are required to receive a rabies vaccination, but animals like cats and horses are not required.

Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that attacks an infected animal's nervous system. The rabies strain found in the foxes tested is from bats. Other strains of rabies, such as those usually originating in skunks and raccoons, have not been detected in Oregon.

Rabies symptoms in wildlife, particularly foxes and raccoons, include lethargy, walking in circles, loss of muscular coordination, convulsions, irritability or aggressiveness, disorientation, excessive drooling of saliva, and showing no fear of humans.

Anyone witnessing animals exhibiting these types of behaviors is urged to telephone the ODFW at 541-826-8774.

— Mark Freeman

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