It Is Time For Discounted Rabies Vaccinations

It Is Time For Discounted Rabies Vaccinations

The time is here. Is your pet due for their rabies vaccination? For the entire month of April, your pet can receive an annual rabies vaccine for just $10.00 at Companion Animal Hospital. To make this news even more exciting, the 3 year rabies vaccine is discounted as well. Protect your pet from rabies for 3 years for just $30.00. Your pet must be at least 1 year of age and have proof a previous rabies booster or vaccination to qualify for the 3 year vaccine.

Please read below to learn more about the disease and what to do if you or your pet come into contact with it.

What is rabies?

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. Less commonly, rabies can be transmitted when saliva from a rabid animal comes in contact with an open cut on the skin or the eyes, nose, or mouth of a person or animal. Once the outward signs of the disease appear, rabies is nearly always fatal.

What animals can get rabies?

Only mammals can get rabies; birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians do not. In the United States, most cases of rabies occur in wild animals—mainly skunks, raccoons, bats, coyotes, and foxes. In recent years, cats have become the most common domestic animal infected with rabies. This is because many cat owners do not vaccinate their cats and cats can be exposed to rabid wildlife, either outdoors or when bats get into the house. Rabies also occurs in dogs and cattle in significant numbers and, while not as common, has been diagnosed in horses, goats, sheep, swine and ferrets.

All mammals are susceptible to rabies.

Vaccination programs and control of stray animals have been effective in preventing rabies in most pets. Approved rabies vaccines are available for cats, dogs, ferrets, horses, cattle and sheep. Licensed oral vaccines are also being used for mass immunization of wildlife, particularly raccoons.

What are the signs of rabies in animals?

Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels along the nerves to the brain. Animals with rabies may show a variety of signs, including fearfulness, aggression, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, staggering, paralysis and seizures. Aggressive behavior is common, but rabid animals may also be uncharacteristically affectionate. Horses and livestock with rabies also may exhibit depression, self mutilation, or increased sensitivity to light. Rabid wild animals may lose their natural fear of humans, and display unusual behavior; for example, an animal that is usually only seen at night may be seen wandering in the daytime.

Although the most common signs of rabies are behavioral changes and unexplained paralysis, rabies should be considered in all cases of unexplained neurological disease. There is no treatment once the clinical signs of rabies appear.

Rabies infection of an animal can only be confirmed after death, through microscopic examination of the animal’s brain.

How great is the risk of rabies to humans?

Rabies remains a major concern worldwide, killing around 59,000 people every year. Almost all of these deaths are due to rabies transmitted by dogs in countries where dog vaccination programms are not sufficiently developed to stop the spread of the virus.

Rabies vaccination and animal control programs, along with better treatment for people who have been bitten, have dramatically reduced the number of human cases of rabies in the United States. Most of the relatively few human cases in this country have resulted from exposures to bats; any contact with bats, even if a bite was not noticed, should be reported to your physician. Extremely rare cases have resulted from corneal or organ/tissue transplants from an infected donor. Dogs are still a significant source of rabies in other countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, so travelers should be aware of this risk and seek medical advice about vaccination prior to traveling outside of the United States.

What can I do to help control rabies?

Remember that rabies is entirely preventable through vaccination.

  • Have a technician vaccinate your pets.
  • Reduce the possibility of exposure to rabies by not letting your pets roam free. Keep cats indoors or within the proximity of your property, and supervise dogs when they are outside. Spaying or neutering your pet may decrease roaming tendencies and will prevent them from contributing to the birth of unwanted animals.
  • Don’t leave exposed garbage or pet food outside, as it may attract wild or stray animals.
  • Wild animals should never be kept as pets. Not only may this be illegal, but wild animals pose a potential rabies threat to caretakers and to others.
  • Observe all wild animals from a distance. A rabid wild animal may appear tame but don’t go near it. Teach children NEVER to handle unfamiliar animals—even if they appear friendly.
  • If you see a wild animal acting strangely, report it to the city or county animal control department.
  • Bat-proof your home and other structures to prevent bats from nesting and having access to people or pets.

What if my pet has bitten someone?

  • Urge the victim to see a physician immediately and to follow the physician’s recommendations.
  • Check with our staff to determine if your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. It is wise to always keep a copy of the pet’s vaccination certificate on hand for this reason. The rabies tag is not honored usually.
  • Report the bite to the local health department and animal control authorities. Local regulations may require that your pet is confined and isolated for monitoring for signs of rabies.
  • Immediately report any illness or unusual behavior by your pet to the local health department and to your veterinarian.
  • Don’t let your pet stray and don’t give your pet away. The animal must be available for observation by public health authorities.
  • After the observation period, have your pet vaccinated for rabies if its vaccination is not current.

What if my pet has been bitten?

  • Consult our staff immediately and report the bite to local animal control authorities.
  • Even if your dog or has a current vaccination, he/she should be revaccinated immediately, kept under the owner’s control, and observed for a period as specified by state law or local ordinance. Animals with expired vaccinations will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Dogs or cats that have never been vaccinated and are exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanaized in accordance with regulations by state laws or placed in strict isolation for six months.

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