You’ve heard of rabies, and you know your pet needs an annual shot and tag for it. When you picture it, you likely think of foaming at the mouth and… that’s about it. So, let us educate you with the facts you need to know to keep your pet safe and healthy.
What is it?
Rabies is a viral infection of the nervous system. It causes sudden, progressive inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
How do dogs and cats get rabies?
Dogs and cats become infected by getting bitten by or coming into contact with the saliva of an infected animal. Common rabid animals include bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. Once the rabies virus enters the body, it travels to the brain and attacks the nervous system.
What will happen if my dog or cat gets rabies?
When dogs and cats become infected, they may have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Excessive drooling
- Staggering, seizures
As the virus progresses, your dog or cat may act as though they are overstimulated, meaning lights, movement, and sound may appear to have a negative effect.
Depending on where on the body a pet is bitten it can take 3-12+ weeks for clinical signs to show.
There is no test for rabies in live animals. The only way to diagnose this disease is through testing brain tissue once the animal has died or been euthanized. The only way to determine if a living animal has rabies is to quarantine them and wait for visible clinical signs to show.
Once your cat or dog is infected with rabies, there is no medication or treatment that your veterinarian can offer. Once clinical signs show, an infected animal usually dies within five days.
How can I prevent my dog or cat from getting rabies?
It’s simple; get the rabies vaccine and keep it up to date! Not only is it illegal to own a pet without it, but it will also keep your dog or cat from suffering from this horrible and likely deadly infection.
Book an appointment today to get your pet vaccinated!