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May 16, 2014

Two animals test positive for rabies

Cooke County — A Gainesville veterinarian is warning residents about a local public health threat.

Dr. Justin Hartman of Refinery Road Veterinary Clinic said he and his colleagues were recently made aware of two cases of rabies-infected animals.

“We’ve had a calf that had rabies and recently, this weekend, a cat that had actually bitten its owner tested positive,” Hartman said.

He pointed out rabies is incurable and fatal.

“It’s certainly scary to see that virus in a domestic animal because of their close association to people,” he said. “Once a person or an animal contracts rabies, once the clinical signs begin, there is nothing anybody can do.”

Hartman said the incubation period for rabies is fairly long.

“People have time to begin the Pasteur treatment after exposure,” he said, adding the prevention regimen for rabies has changed over the years.

“The treatment has become much more refined than it was 50 years ago,” he said. “It no longer includes a series of injections in the stomach.”

Pet vaccinations are more than good pet care, he said. Vaccinating pets annually against rabies is the law in most areas.

Hartman said he also advises owners of certain types of livestock to get their animals vaccinated each year.

“Owners of show animals including sheep, goats and cattle — any animals that interact with humans — should have their livestock vaccinated,” he said.

He also said he’s aware of the efforts by some groups to curtail  yearly vaccinations.

“There’s some talk of over-vaccination,” Hartman said. “But with a  disease that has the degree of public health significance rabies does, I vaccinate my pets every year. There’s just no reason to risk having a rabid skunk come into my yard and bite my dog on the nose.

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The new Bosco’s Gym facility located at 1112 E. Main St. in Gainesville is up and running with state-of-the-art equipment and training available. Owner Sarah Galvan is excited about the new center that offers long time patrons as well as new members a place to rejuvenate and get fit. The estimated 7000 square foot facility houses an extensive weight room, work out space, treadmills, a cardio vascular area, aerobics, spin cycle room, two personal training rooms as well as a childcare facility. Hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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In the photo above, Dr. Matthew Bayne and his staff stand outside Family Dental Care of Gainesville.

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