Facts About Rabies Every Dog Owner Should Know - Dog Training Tips

With Sept. 28 being World Rabies Day, we wanted to give you some facts why all dogs should still be vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted from saliva from one infected mammal to another. The symptoms may appear a few days after the bite or take as long as 12 weeks.

The symptoms appear flu-like and may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Partial paralysis

Here are some other pertinent facts about the disease itself:

  • Rabies laws vary by state. Some states allow only licensed veterinarians to administer the vaccine, while others allow veterinary technicians and specifically trained individuals to inoculate these animals.
  • Unvaccinated animals may be denied service by any business or vet who may want to protect the health of other pets and patients.
  • Many diseases in humans and pets are on the rise again due to parents and pet owners opting out of vaccinations against these diseases.
  • Rabies vaccines are not given to pets to protect the animal, they are given to protect humans.
  • If left untreated, rabies in humans is almost always fatal and 100% fatal in dogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association reports 55,000 annual deaths worldwide due to rabies and 1-2 deaths annually in the U.S. many due to skunks, bats, foxes and coyotes.
  • The side effect of the rabies vaccine may be slight swelling at the injection site and some facial swelling, itchiness and redness. That is usually easily resolved with a cortisone injection and an antihistamine injection.
  • Some states have exemptions for animals that are medically compromised (cancer,

In many cases, testing an animal for rabies may not be possible. If you have been bitten by a wild animal, seek medical treatment immediately. A fast acting shot of rabies immune globulin will immediately be given in addition to a series of rabies vaccines to train your body to fight the virus whenever it finds it.


For a list of rabies laws is your state, click here

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