The Importance of The Rabies Vaccine
Rabies is a fatal viral disease that is spread from contact with bodily fluids from an infected animal, most commonly saliva via a bite wound. The virus infects only mammals with wildlife such as the fox, skunk, raccoon, and bat being the most common carriers. In the United States, hundreds of dogs and cats die from rabies each year, along with several human fatalities. Worldwide there are over 55,000 human deaths each and every year. With proper vaccination, rabies is nearly 100% preventable.
Although not common in people in the U.S., the most common route of human exposure is from our pets that have been bitten by a rabid animal. Because of this, prevention is key. Prevention is easily achieved with routine vaccinations and avoiding interactions with possible rabid wildlife. The rabies vaccine is a killed virus, meaning there is no chance of getting rabies from the vaccine. It is recommended in all puppies, kittens, and ferrets over the age of 16 weeks. As adults, it can be given yearly to every three years, depending on the vaccine label and the local laws regarding vaccine frequency.
"...an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure..."
In addition to being a good idea for the health of you and your pet, the rabies vaccine is legally required. Animals that are bitten without being vaccinated may have to endure a quarantine period of weeks to months, or in some cases, may have to be euthanized. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, more than ever in the case of rabies where there is no cure.
Please consult your veterinarian for more information and to schedule your appointment today.
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