World Rabies Day is held on September 28 and was established back in 2007 to increase public awareness of rabies and to bring partners together to strengthen global preventive and control initiatives. This day provides an opportunity to take a look at our progress in eradicating this deadly illness, while also serving as a reminder that the battle is far from over.
Even though the canine rabies virus has been completely eradicated in the United States, we still need to keep our dogs and cats up to date with their vaccinations to stop the spread of this virus and guard our pets against rabies transmission from wild animals. There are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from rabies all year long, regardless of whether your pets enjoy outdoor activities, or just explore your backyard.
Rabies prevention begins with the owner of the animal. Vaccinating your animals protects you, your pet, and your community. Stay away from stray animals and wildlife. If you are bitten, immediately wash the bite wounds with soap and water and seek medical assistance. If your pet has been bitten, contact your veterinarian right away. After being bitten and before the disease develops, prompt and effective treatment can terminate rabies infection and/or prevent getting humans and other animals sick.
There are certain telltale symptoms of a rabid dog. The dog may exhibit signs of hostility and restlessness and attempt to bite both objects and humans. Though it’s important to note that other dogs can act the opposite, and exhibit unusual levels of passivity and indifference.
As the condition progresses, the dog may become extremely sensitive to light, sound, and touch. Loss of appetite, weakness, and convulsions are all symptoms of rabies.
A veterinarian can ensure that your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations and thus safe from rabies. All dogs and cats should be vaccinated around the age of four months, and then again a year later. Following these two doses, your veterinarian will create a vaccination plan that is both safe for your pet and in accordance with local legislation. This is important because animals that have not been immunized against rabies and come into contact with potentially rabid wild animals may need to be isolated or euthanized.
There are things you can do around the house to lessen the chance that you and your pets could contract rabies. Always keep your animals inside. If you want them to go outdoors, it's better to have a fenced-in yard and make sure someone is present to supervise your dog or cat and keep it safe. When walking your dog, use a leash. Any food for your pets should be kept in a location that only they can access, and waste should be covered tightly since it could draw stray or wild animals to your yard.
Dogs and cats can avoid rabies with a quick, risk-free, and efficient immunization. Does your pet have an up-to-date rabies vaccination card? If you are unsure, make sure to give Salazar Veterinary Hospital in Orlando, FL a call and set an appointment today. We will be happy to assist you with your pet’s rabies vaccines.