RENO, NV - Most pet owners don't even think about rabies, but they should.
That’s because once rabies symptoms develop in cats and dogs the disease is nearly always fatal.
This year four bats have tested positive for the disease around Washoe County.
That’s on par for the Animal Disease Laboratory which confirms 6-17 cases per year between May and October.
The lab also tests raccoons, skunk and foxes but have not found any infection in those animals.
Still, since infected bats can crawl inside small opening in your home, health officials say there is a real risk to pets.
Even strictly indoor cats can get their claws on infected pray.
In turn, your family members can be exposed by playing with an infected pet.
Luckily, there is a simple way to prevent infection. Vaccinations, given every one to three years, can keep your dog or cat free of rabies.
Veterinarian Michael Likes says most cats and dogs he treats have been vaccinated.
Because of that, he says, he hasn’t seen a case of rabies in more than 20 years of practicing.