Rabid raccoon found dead in Gaithersburg

File photo: Jeff Kramer

A raccoon has tested positive for rabies in Gaithersburg, animal control officials say.

Officers responded to a call of a dead raccoon on the 200 block of East Deer Park Drive last Thursday afternoon. The raccoon had been in an altercation with the resident's two dogs, according to Gaithersburg Animal Control.

While rabies is more common with wildlife, domestic pets can be infected by wild animals. Humans come in contact more with domestic pets, increasing the risk of "spillover" rabies. Rabies can be fatal to both humans and animals if they are do not receive treatment.

The only way to prevent rabies in your pet is by regular vaccinations. Keeping pets indoors or under direct supervision will also prevent exposure.

If you were in direct contact with a raccoon in this area in the last several weeks, please contact the Montgomery County Health Department immediately at 240-777-1755. If your pet has had any contact, please contact Gaithersburg Animal Control at 301-258-6343.