January Vaccination Spotlight: Rabies

IAH Rabies AwarenessVaccinating pets for the Rabies virus is one of the most critical and proactive measures you can take to maintain the health and safety of your pet, family members and extended community. Rabies is a very contagious disease that can affect both domestic and wild animals as well as humans. Rabies Basics

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the brain and neurological systems of its host. There is no cure and the virus is almost always fatal, with death occurring within five days once the animal shows physical signs of the virus. Rabies infection occurs throughout the United States but is most prevalent along the East Coast from Maine to Florida.

I have an indoor pet; can it still get Rabies?

Yes, even though you have an indoor pet, it can still contract the Rabies virus. Our domestic pets – especially cats – still retain their wild instincts and occasionally “break out” of their homes, meaning they can come into contact with a wild animal that’s infected with the virus. Rabies is usually transmitted via the saliva (bite) of an infected animal; however, it can be spread through scratches or claw wounds as well.

Why do my pets need a Rabies shot?

Aside from helping prevent the spreading of the virus, the Rabies vaccination helps protect you and your pets from legal problems, too. When your animal bites someone, by law, it must be quarantined in efforts to check for Rabies infection. If your animal is kept up-to-date on Rabies and other vaccinations, the period is much shorter.

How often does my pet need the Rabies shot?

The Rabies vaccination is required by law in all 50 states; however, vaccination frequency varies according to state law, with vaccination boosters annually or every three years. We recommend your pet receive their first Rabies vaccination around 16 weeks of age.

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