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How to Prevent Rabies

Rabies

Today, rabies is a big concern for everyone because it is not confined to a specific section of our country. In view of the fact that rabies is as deadly to humans as it is to animals, there are strict laws pertaining to pet owners to take responsibility of vaccinating their pets against the infection in order to prevent rabies.

Rabies is spread when an infected animals bites or scratches a healthy animal. After that, the virus enters the nervous system of the victim and travels to the spinal cord and finally to the brain.

The infected animal starts showing signs of rabies as soon as the virus reaches the brain. After the virus gets to the salivary glands the infected animal can then transmit rabies through its bite. Death usually comes 10 days after the infected animal starts showing sings of rabies.

Types of rabies

Types of rabies

There are 2 distinct types of rabies. The first one produces the typical signs that we all associate with rabies – viciousness and aggressive behavior. The primary signs include aggressive and irrational behavior, loss of fear and dilated pupils.

For example, horses will usually inflict wounds to themselves and roll violently on the ground. Smaller animals will attack anything they see, even trees and fences. This irrational behavior will eventually stop and the paralysis will set in. After a few days, the animal will die. This is called the furious form.

The second form of the infection is called paralytic rabies. The animal infected with paralytic rabies will usually not show signs of aggressive behavior because the paralysis will set in immediately. The infected animal will be unable to move and its throat muscles will become paralyzed making the mouth move in a strange manner.

Owners of the infected animal will notice a change in the dog’s bark and the accumulation of saliva as well as a droopy face. They can also get bitten while trying to see if the dog is choking on something caught in his throat.

The incubation period of rabies typically lasts from 10 days to several months making it very hard to know if a stray animal is infected with rabies. In case a vaccinated pet has been bitten by an infected animal, a 10-day quarantine will be ordered to ensure the animal doesn’t show any signs of the infection. In case the animal isn’t vaccinated or cannot be found, the human victim will need too get a series of shots so as to prevent possible infection.

Considering the fact the no vaccine can take care of the infection, euthanasia is the only option for an unvaccinated victim. Since the infected animal is doomed to a painful death, this is the kindest method to end the infected animal’s life.

Since rabies is not just a canine disease, cat owners must also have their cats vaccinated. Rabies can also be spread by skunks, foxes, raccoons etc. Having your pet vaccinated against rabies is all it takes to prevent rabies and keep this unnecessary disaster under control.

A young puppy or kitten should get its first vaccine against rabies between 3-4 months of age, and then followed by a booster vaccine on year later. Depending on the vaccine your veterinarian uses, this shot will be good for three years.

After you pet gets vaccinated you will receive a certificate and a tag stating what vaccine and when your pet animal received.

Though we cannot cure or eliminate rabies completely, we can keep it from spreading any further by being a responsible pet owner. This is surely the best and only way to prevent rabies.

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