Did you know that rabies has been on the rise in recent years? Just the word “rabies” conjures up some frightening images in the mind’s eye. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted from animals to humans. This makes it particularly dangerous. Luckily, rabies has been all but eliminated in many parts of the world, thanks to modern vaccination and wild animal control measures. Still, you’ll need to take the proper precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Here’s how:
Your furry buddy’s core vaccination group should include the rabies vaccine. This is his or her first–and possibly only– line of defense against the rabies virus. Puppies and kittens can receive the rabies vaccination by the time they are about 3 months old. Fluffy and Fido will also need booster shots. Ask your vet for specific advice.
If your pet is in need of the rabies vaccination, or if you’re unsure whether or not your pet has already received this vaccine, call your vet’s office for help.
Supervise while outdoors.
The rabies virus spreads through the bites of infected animals. So, it’s important for you to keep a close eye on your pet when they are outdoors, and try to stop them from encountering any wild animals, like raccoons or opossums. Keep your furry pal on a leash when you go on walks, and don’t let them stray too far. If you live near wooded areas or anywhere that wild animals pass through, avoid leaving your pet outside unsupervised.
Getting Fluffy and Fido fixed is important for many reasons. It also lowers the risk of them getting the rabies virus. That’s because spaying and neutering reduces your pet’s urge to wander off in search of a mate. Not only will you avoid the hassle and heartache of a lost pet, you won’t have to worry about them coming in contact with a wild animal that could potentially be rabid.
Watch for Warning Signs
Keep an eye out for any unusual behavior. Symptoms of rabies include lethargy, loss of appetite, light and touch sensitivity, fever, and uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. Seizures and paralysis can occur if the disease progresses. Tell your vet immediately if you see these signs.
All in all, the risk of getting rabies is very low for your pet. But make sure to take the right steps to keep it that way. Call your vet’s office for help!