Why Pets Need Rabies Vaccinations

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Rabies is a viral disease that is most often transmitted from being bitten by a rabid animal.  It can threaten the lives of humans and other animals by the infected saliva getting into an open wound or even just the eye.  Dogs and cats that are left without rabies vaccinations are at risk for contracting the disease and spreading it.  It always has and always will be in the best interest of yourself and your pets to make sure the rabies vaccinations are kept up to date.  In fact, you may be unable to travel to certain places if you can’t show proof that your pets are vaccinated.

Not only is it common sense to have your pets vaccinated against rabies, but it’s the law.  Rabies vaccinations are mandated by the Rabies Prevention and Control in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act which became effective on February 13, 1987.  If you are caught violating the rabies vaccination law, you can actually be fined up to $300.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of rabies vary from animal to animal.  Early indications may actually appear flu like including fever, being lethargic, and loss of appetite, followed by behavior changes like the bark sounding different and chewing at the bite site.  During the second stage of rabies in infected animals, you may notice extreme aggressiveness, constant growling, biting, dilated pupils, disorientation, and even seizures.  Foaming at the mouth, while a common sign of rabies, is an indicator that the animal has reached the last stage and will more than likely fall into a coma before it passes away.

Rabies vaccinations are meant to protect your pets and to prevent the spread of rabies to humans.  If you come into contact with an animal you suspect is rabid, call either a veterinarian’s office or animal control, but do not try to trap the animal yourself.

If you have already come into contact or have been bitten by a rabid animal, notify your local authorities and try to have as much information about the infected animal as possible.

Prevention is key to spread of rabies and should be at the top of every pet owner’s to do list.  Contact your veterinarian today to ensure your pet is protected.

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