Just the word “rabies” tends to conjure up some disturbing images in the mind’s eye. And because rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to humans, it’s particularly concerning. 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 measures. Still, you’ll want to take the proper precautions to make sure your pet stays safe. Here’s how, according to a Beaufort vet.
Your pet’s core vaccination plan should include the rabies vaccine. This is your companion’s first line of defense against the rabies virus. Puppies and kittens as young as three months old should be able to receive the rabies vaccination, and they’ll probably 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 whether or not he or she has already received this vaccine, call your Beaufort vet’s office for help.
The rabies virus is spread through the bite of an infected animal. So, it’s important to keep a close eye on your pet while outdoors in order to stop them from encountering any wild animals, such as raccoons or skunks. Keep your companion 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 may be present, don’t allow your pet to go outside unsupervised.
You may be surprised to learn that having your pet spayed or neutered is actually a 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 avoid the hassle and heartache of a lost pet, you also won’t have to worry about them coming in contact with a wild animal that could potentially be rabid.
Common symptoms of rabies include lethargy, loss of appetite, light and touch sensitivity, fever, and uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. Seizures and paralysis can occur if the disease progresses. Tell your Beaufort veterinary professional immediately if you see these signs.
All things considered, the risk of rabies is quite low for your pet. Just be sure to take the right steps to keep it that way. Call your Beaufort vet’s office for help!