The word “rabies” tends to conjure up some frightening images in the mind’s eye. And because rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, it’s particularly dangerous. Luckily, rabies has been all but eliminated in the U.S. and many other parts of the world thanks to modern vaccination and wild animal control measures. Still, you’ll want to take the proper precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Here’s what an experienced Coles County vet recommends.
Your pet’s core vaccination series should include the rabies vaccine. This will be his or her first line of defense against the rabies virus. Puppies and kittens as young as three months old should be capable of receiving the rabies vaccination, and they’ll probably need a few follow-up booster shots before receiving additional rabies vaccines every three years or so.
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 Coles County vet’s office for assistance.
The rabies virus is spread through the bite of another infected animal. So, it’s important to keep a close watch on your pet while outdoors in order to stop them from encountering any wild animals. Keep your pet on a leash when you go on walks, and don’t let them stray too far. If you reside in a wooded area or anywhere that wild animals may pass through, don’t let your pet outside unsupervised.
You may be surprised to learn that having your pet spayed or neutered is another good way to prevent the risk of the rabies virus. That’s because spaying and neutering reduces your companion’s urge to wander in order to find a mate. Not only will you avoid the hassle and heartache of a potential lost pet, you don’t have to worry about them coming into contact with a wild animal that could be rabid.
Symptoms of rabies include lethargy, loss of appetite, light and touch sensitivity, fever, and uncharacteristically aggressive behavior. Seizures and paralysis can also occur as the disease progresses. Contact your Coles County vet immediately if you see these signs.
All things considered, the risk of rabies is very low for your pet. But make sure to take the right steps to keep it that way. Call your Coles County vet’s office for help!