What You Should Know About Rabies

Rabies, while not a frequent infliction for pet health, can be transmitted to our four-legged pals. Recently, rabies cases have been on the upswing. Simply because one raccoon or other carrier tests positive for rabies doesn’t mean there won’t be others. That being said, it doesn’t mean that we are in the middle of a rabies epidemic. Right now the main thing is education on the virus and the risk variables. 

Many people consider the film ‘Cujo’ when they think about rabies. They see that a crazy vicious dog attacks everything, the truth is much different where pet health is concerned. Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and may manifest itself in several ways such as strange behavior, shocking, and fatigue. The virus is spread by saliva through snacks or eating brain substances. Once an animal or an individual is bitten it could take months for symptoms to develop. Regrettably, there is no cure. Rabies is a virus that is terminal when it reaches the brain and physical symptoms start. Worldwide there are approximately 60,000 deaths each year by rabies. Only one person has survived being infected but she will never recover from the brain damage she continued.

There are a couple of species that are considered high risk for rabies and may have an effect on pet health. The most important threat is raccoons with 154 cases or 63.6 percent of wild animal cases in certain states in America. After raccoons, skunks had 42 instances or 17.4 percent, bats had 28 cases or 11.5 percent, and foxes with 16 cases or 7.5 percent. The national average is much wider with 75 percent of national animal infections being cats. Another interesting statistic is that pets and people have generally different threats for vulnerability. Overwhelmingly our pets have been contaminated by raccoons, skunks, and foxes. In people, global 95 percent of the illnesses occurred through dog bites. Getting your pet vaccinated against rabies is your best method to keep a layer of security between wild animals and people. Secondly, bats are a massive threat, usually, because snacks go unnoticed. After all, the bats live in the loft of the home. Normally, bat bites are small and we could also sleep through them. It is very important to check your attic and roof for signs of bats and also have them removed if detected. To protect our pets a few simple measures must also be taken. First, making sure your animal is current on vaccines is remarkably significant. It is also important to keep your pets away from wild animals as far as possible. Find out more here.

How can you protect your pet’s health? Currently, there are both one-year and three-year vaccines out there. If your pet isn’t current on its vaccines, and the animal that bit your furry friend was a raccoon, a fox, or even a skunk you’ll have to call the local police and alert the health department. They might wish the wild creature captured or killed to have it tested for rabies. There’s another benefit to getting your pet vaccinated. If they bite an individual and are current on their vaccines they then need to be quarantined for just 10 days for observation. If a pet is unvaccinated or past due on vaccines and it bites someone it will have to be quarantined for six weeks to be detected for symptoms. The baseline to our pets is that the rabies vaccine works and without it, you’re taking a lot of dangers with the number of rabies cases we have observed in our region. Please report any odd acting critters to Environmental Health or Animal Control and do not take matters into your own hands.

Vaccinations & Parasite Prevention

Preventive health care, including routine examinations, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and good nutrition are important to ensure your pet has a very long, happy life.

In Westport Animal Hospital, we believe consistent prevention to be the key to life-long health for the pets we treat.

We’ll work with you to create a customized strategy for your pet. Our preventive health care choices will help make sure your pet is happy and healthy. Visit our website for more information.