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:
- 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