When we think of rabies, we tend to imagine vicious and aggressive dogs foaming at the mouth. This is a scary picture, but actually is pretty accurate when it comes to how rabies affects animals. East Valley Animal Hospital, located in Gilbert Arizona, has years of experience providing the best pet care, including vaccinations and protection against rabies.
Rabies is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from animal to human, usually through saliva. Symptoms in your pet include aggression, seizures, and paralysis. Considering the consequences, you’ll want to protect your pet as thoroughly as possible.
Ways to Prevent Rabies
While we may not be able to fully stop occurrence of the disease, luckily is it not as common as we may think. Thanks to animal control programs and vaccinations, the United States has been able to vastly curb the number of rabies infections, according to the Center for Disease Control. These tips will help keep your pet safe from this harmful disease and continue the fight against its spread:
- Visit Your Vet: Regular wellness exams for your beloved pet are important to their health and to ensure that any illness is caught early. It is usually recommended to give your pet a rabies vaccination when they are about 3-4 months old. A follow-up shot should be administered one year later and then again every 3 years.
- Keep a Close Watch: When your pet is outdoors, it is important to keep an eye on them. Keep your pets away from stray animals (including cats, raccoons and other dogs) that may wander into your yard. Be especially diligent about watching for wildlife if you are camping or walking in the woods.
- Spay or Neuter Your Pet: Spaying or neutering your pup reduces their urge to wander and run into rabies-carrying animals.
- Be Aware of Signs: Certain signs can alert you to the presence of the rabies virus in an animal. The main symptom is a personality change from docile to aggressive or sullen. Pay attention to bites, fever, or disorientation. Other symptoms may include light and touch sensitivity, weakness and loss of appetite. If you notice any combination of these symptoms, immediately take your pet to your vet or local animal hospital.
Though the risk of getting rabies is low, the disease itself is serious and still possible. Rabies is almost always fatal and rabid dogs are often required by law to be euthanized. Contact East Valley Animal Hospital today for the best preventative care for your pet. Our caring, compassionate vets are trained to diagnose rabies and other infections.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/13/2017) chefjancris (Flickr)