Facts About Rabies Every Dog Owner Should Know

Tips & Advice → Facts About Rabies Every Dog Owner Should Know


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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