World Rabies Day

Dog about to receive rabies vaccine.

World Rabies Day Is the Perfect Time to Vaccinate Your Pet

Is your pet's rabies vaccination current? The vaccine offers a simple, effective way to protect your pet from the deadly disease. Although the number of rabies cases in the U.S. has declined, thanks to the introduction of the vaccine, the disease hasn't been completely eradicated and still remains a threat to people and animals.

World Rabies Day, held on September 28 this year, was created to increase awareness of the deadly disease and make low-cost or free rabies vaccines available throughout the world.

Which Pets Are at Risk of Developing Rabies?

Rabies can occur in any mammal, including dogs, cats, ferrets, skunks, raccoons, pigs, horses, cows, bats, coyotes, goats, foxes and sheep. Small mammals, like squirrels, rabbits, hamsters, and gerbils, can technically be infected with the rabies virus. But, these animals rarely develop the disease.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, rabies rates are higher in cats than other domestic pets, although dogs are at risk too. The Association notes that the difference could be due to a lower vaccination rate among cats.

How Do Pets Get Rabies?

The rabies virus is transmitted in an infected animal's saliva. Pets are usually infected when they're bitten or scratched by infected bats, raccoons or other wildlife. Once your pet becomes ill, it can infect you too. You don't have to be bitten by a rabid animal to develop rabies. The rabies virus can enter your body if your pet licks your hand, and you have a small scratch or a patch of dry skin on your hand.

What Are the Symptoms of Rabies in Pets?

If your pet has rabies, you may notice:

  • A Change in Behavior: Normally calm pets may become aggressive or irritable, or your dog or cat may seem much more affectionate than usual. It's not unusual for infected animals to feel threatened and display signs of fear, including flattened ears, raised hair, hiding and cowering.
  • Drooling and Swallowing Issues: Pets that have rabies may drool continuously and have trouble swallowing food and water.
  • Difficulty Walking: Pets can become uncoordinated and might even develop paralysis as a result of the infection.
  • Disinterest in Food and Water: Dogs and cats with rabies lose interest in drinking or eating.
  • Seizures: Seizures can occur as the virus worsens. Eventually, death may occur.

Rabies symptoms don't appear immediately after your pet comes in contact with a rabid animal. In fact, he or she may appear perfectly healthy for two weeks to two months after being exposed to the virus.

How Can I Protect My Pet From Rabies?

The rabies vaccine offers effective protection for your pet. Puppies and kittens usually receive the vaccine when they're a few months old and may need a booster vaccine a year later. In many states, adult dogs and cats only need to be vaccinated every three years.

Vaccination not only protects your pet's health but prevents him or her from passing the virus on to other animals or to people. During World Rabies Day, many veterinary offices and animal welfare organizations offer low-cost rabies clinics to protect the pets in their communities.

In addition to vaccinating your pets and livestock, you can also reduce the rabies risk by:

  • Limiting Wandering: Wandering pets can encounter all sorts of dangers, whether you live in the city, suburbs or country. Injuries from cars, poisoning from spilled antifreeze and bites from wild animals can put your pet's health at risk. Protect your pets by keeping dogs on a leash when you explore nearby forests and fields. Don't let cats and ferrets wander. Screened backyard enclosures provide access to the outdoors without any of the dangers.
  • Making Your Property Unattractive to Wild Animals: Keep your grass short, clear brush and debris from your yard, and don't leave pet food outside. Fill small holes around the eaves of your house and around the roof to keep bats out. Install exclusion devices in your chimney to prevent bats from entering your home.
  • Staying Away from Wild Animals: Bring your pets and your kids indoors if you see a wild animal in the yard. Rabies can make wildlife lose its fear of humans and can be a factor if you see a normally nocturnal animal during the day.

Does your pet need a rabies vaccine? Contact us to schedule a convenient appointment.

Sources:

American Veterinary Medical Association: Rabies and Your Pet

https://www.avma.org/public/Health/Pages/rabies.aspx

Global Alliance for Rabies Control: Get Ready for World Rabies Day 2019

https://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day

World Health Organization: World Rabies Day

https://www.who.int/rabies/WRD_landing_page/en/

Contact Us Today!

Contact us using the form or call us at 804-741-3200.

Monday:

7:30am

6:00pm

Tuesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Wednesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Thursday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Friday:

7:30am

6:00pm

Saturday:

7:30am

2:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Evans was so patient and kind with our kitty "Cookie". Very caring and so helpful and answered many questions for me concerning her health. The office staff are kind, caring, and professional. The office is immaculate. I have never been to a vet where my pets and myself were treated so well. Love it and so glad to have found them. Best vet appointment ever!"
    Dorothy M.
  • "We have used the Q for over 15 years for our cats and our dogs. Dr. Mortimer is a genius at diagnosing and treating a wide array of issues, and we have relied on his skills to help our animals live to amazing ages. The staff is incredibly caring. They do everything possible to help when we call or come in with a sick animal. They truly care for our pets, and many of the staff will come out from the back to pet our dogs
    when they come in. They are so patient with shy animals like our ferally cat Stasha who needed laser treatments, and our Bagle Topsy who is afraid of her own shadow.Yes, they are not the cheapest vet in town, but they work with us on making a treatment plan we can afford, and we feel that the value and the care are well worth it. Thank you to everyone at the Q for their dedication and loving care."
    Sally M. / December 21, 2017
  • "Met with Dr. Hiser today for the first time. Everyone at the
    clinic--from the desk staff to the vet techs to the veterinarian were warm and welcoming. My dog Iris--who is often nervous around new people--was comfortable there and (I think) made a few new friends. Looking forward to a continued relationship with the clinic as my sweet girl grows up. Thanks, thanks thanks."
    Stephanie C. / June 27, 2018
  • "My three chihuahuas have been Dr. Mortimer's patients for over nine years. The expertise, love, and care demonstrated for each pet is extraordinary. The doctors and staff go the extra mile to help their patients and the parents. They are truly an amazing group that love and care for each pet. If there was a review rated outstanding, that would have been my choice!"
    Donna C. / June 10, 2018
  • "I would highly recommended QVH. All of the staff are so kind and compassionate. They are so willing to help and never mind answering any questions you may have, even if it's 100 questions they are so patient. They genuinely care and treat your pets as if they were their own. And I cannot say enough about Dr. Hiser. She is amazing. Even on her days off she would still call and check in on my dog. I am so appreciative of this place and the staff. It's a great feeling to be completely comfortable with putting your pets care in someone's else hands and trusting them to provide the best service."
    Taylor H. / August 25, 2018
  • "I have been seeing Dr. Evans for at least 20 years. Her manner, knowledge, staff and facility are exceptional. I am a health care provider myself and hold the care of my pets to the highest standards....and I have never had a second thought about the care or recommendations of Dr. Evans. I moved out of town 6 years ago....and drive 3 hours each way to see her."
    Kimberley W. / April 2, 2018
  • "Wouldn't trust my four-legged Kids to anyone else - they have guided us with all our dogs through the years. The entire staff is kind and patient with the animals (and their parents)."
    Karen K. / November 7, 2017

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles