Friday, September 25, 2015

Vaccinate Your Pet against Rabies

World Rabies Day is the 28th day of September each year, with the intent to raise awareness of rabies and to help educate people on the prevention and control of the virus  As this date quickly approaches (Monday) we would like to take a moment to address the Rabies virus, how is it transmitted, and what signs to look for. 

The Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Rabies is a preventable disease with proper, up to date vaccines administered by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.  In compliance with North Carolina state laws any pet over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated for Rabies.  With all pet owners being compliant it greatly decreases the chances of a domestic pet contracting Rabies if it comes in contact with Rabid wildlife or an unfamiliar animal.  Wildlife to avoid typically include raccoons, bats, skunks, and fox.

Signs that an animal may have been infected are growling, showing its teeth, being excessively aggressive, general sickly look, problems swallowing, excessive drooling or salivating, appears to be more tame than you would expect (especially wildlife), shows no fear of humans, biting at everything, or overly lethargic, having trouble moving or even appears to be paralyzed. 

Rabies virus is transmitted to pets and people through saliva when bitten by an infected animal. If you or your pet come across an animal you believe may be infected with the virus report it immediately to animal control and if safe take a picture of the animal to help be able to identify it if unable to catch at that time.  If you or your pet have actual contact with the animal contact your physician and veterinarian for advise on how to proceed.

There are several ways to help ensure you're doing your part in helping protect your pet from exposure.  These include vaccinating your pet regularly, keeping your pet on a leash while walking, and not allowing your pet to wander freely in wooded areas where wildlife is present.  If you are out and encounter a loose or stray animal stop where you are, stand still, do not make eye contact, and wait for the animal to move on.   Don't approach sick or injured wildlife, an unknown animal, or animals that appear to be recently deceased.

For further information call our office or visit the below listed websites.