Rabies is perhaps the most well-known disease that can affect animals. Rabies is also one of the most serious viral diseases when it comes to pets as rabies is one of the few pet viruses that can be transferred to humans. The caricature of the rabid dog with foaming drool and uncontrollable aggression is often shown in comedic movies and television shows, but this disease is no laughing matter.
The Transmission of Rabies
The rabies virus can affect any warm-blooded animal and is transferred through the saliva of an infected animal after a bite. For pets, wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, bats or coyotes are the biggest rabies threat. Once an animal is believed to be infected, it will likely need to be euthanized.
Rabies causes a variety of unique symptoms which appear in stages as the disease progresses. These symptoms include:
- Extreme aggression
- Slow reflexes
- Unexplained roaming
The Rabies Vaccine
Many states have laws requiring rabies vaccines for all pets. This vaccine is affordable and safe and is the main part of any dog or cat annual vaccine package. The length of time that a rabies vaccine is effective is generally from one to three years.
To learn more about rabies and protecting your pet through vaccination, contact your Austin Vet Clinic today