The rabies virus is well known, but do we truly know how much it can affect our domestic animals and ourselves? The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infected mucous membranes, such as a bite wound. Although it might take a long time for the symptoms to surface, many dogs, cats and humans die from this each year in the United States. The Global Alliance for Rabies Control has dedicated September 28thas World Rabies Day to spread awareness of preventing rabies.
In honor of this day, Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to give more information behind this virus and why we believe that is always important to vaccinate your pets. Wendy Brooks from veterinarypartner.vin.com states that “only mammals are susceptible to infection, wildlife being the primary animal group where infection occurs.” Wildlife does tend to come into our backyards and it is always important to be mindful that they could be carrying something. Some of the main carriers of rabies include skunks, bats, racoons, and coyotes. If you live in an area where wild animals are prevalent it is very important to make sure your pets are always up to date on their vaccines.
Rabies vaccines for domestic animals are required by law. The reason for this is because we want to protect human health. Dogs and cats can be carriers of this virus and due to them being involved in our lives it makes it easier for us to get rabies. It is highly recommended for domestic animals to get a vaccine against this virus as early as 16 weeks of age to help prevent them from obtaining this virus.
Fortunately, Rabies can be prevented by making sure your pets are constantly up to date on this vaccine. The first round of this vaccine is good for one full year and the following vaccine is good for three years. It can be given here at our hospital with one of our experienced Veterinary Technicians or a Doctor if you prefer. If you are not sure when your pet’s last rabies vaccine was, give your vet hospital a call to make sure your pet is not overdue. Lets do our part to help prevent this virus as much as possible and get your dogs and cats vaccinated.