Mere mention of the word “rabies” can conjure up some frightening images in the mind’s eye. And because rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, it can seem particularly dangerous. Luckily, rabies has been all but eliminated in the United States and many other parts of the world thanks to modern vaccination and wildlife management. Still, you’ll want to take the proper precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Here’s what your local Pelham vet recommends.
Your pet’s core vaccinations should include the rabies vaccine. This is his or her first line of defense against this dangerous virus. Puppies and kittens as young as three months of age can receive the rabies vaccination. They’ll probably also need a few follow-up booster shots before receiving additional rabies vaccines every three years or so.
If your pet needs the rabies vaccination, or if you’re unsure as to whether or not your pet has already received this vaccine, call your Pelham vet’s office for help.
The rabies virus is spread through the bite from an infected animal. So, it’s important to keep a close eye on your pet when he or she outdoors in order to stop them from encountering any wild animals. Keep your pet on a leash when going on walks, and don’t let them stray too far. If you live in a wooded area or anywhere that wild animals might pass through, don’t let your pet go 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 pet’s urge to wander in order to find a mate. Not only will you prevent the hassle and heartache of a lost pet, you don’t have to worry about them coming in contact with a wild animal that could potentially be rabid.
Symptoms of rabies include lethargy, loss of appetite, sensitivity to touch and light, fever, and uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. Seizures and paralysis can also occur if the disease progresses. Tell your Pelham veterinary professional immediately if you see these signs.
All things considered, the risk of rabies is very low for your pet. Just be sure to take the right steps to keep it that way. Call your Pelham vet’s office for help!