WHY RABIES VACCINATIONS ARE ESSENTIAL
By Dr. Hannah Klein, DVM | LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KLEIN
Rabies is 100% fatal.
Let’s just let that marinate for a minute
More than 59,000 people die of rabies every year; that’s approximately one rabies-caused death every 9 minutes. Granted, that statistic is from third world countries and one benefit of living in the United States is that very few of us have firsthand knowledge of fatal disease epidemics like rabies.
Proper vaccination virtually guarantees your animal will never get infected with rabies. All dogs and cats, (yes, barn cats too) can get vaccinated once they are 16 weeks old. That first vaccine is only valid for one year; their second vaccine can be valid for three years, if given in a proper time frame. The rabies vaccine should be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
By vaccinating every animal we get our hands on, we protect the herd, and your family. Imagine how devastating it would be to put your child’s new puppy down because it got in a fight protecting your child from a rabies infected raccoon before you were able to vaccinate your new puppy.
It’s not just pets you need to worry about, it’s also your family. Recently, there were incidents reported in the news of rabid skunks attacking kids and chasing them INSIDE their homes in Aurora. This disease will, quite literally, run you down.
Please make sure ALL of your animals are properly vaccinated, including your horses; we recommend vaccinating cows, bulls, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, and pigs, too. While bats have been the main rabies carrier in Colorado for many years, there have been an increased number of infected skunks in the state in recent years.
Wounds from a rabid skunk bite may not be easy to detect on livestock or horses and rabies symptoms can mimic other common illnesses. A rabies bite is fatal for an unvaccinated animal.
When it’s time to vaccinate your pets and/or livestock, Dr. Klein and Dr. Lingus are available by appointment in store, or they’ll come directly to your place to help protect you, your family, and your animals. Learn more about Dr. Klein and Dr. Lingus, our services, and schedule rabies vaccinations for your animals: http://hpcattlesupply.com/animal-care/veterinary-services/.
Signs Your Animal is Infected with Rabies
Contact your vet immediately if your animal shows any signs below.
- Changed or altered behavior, including depression
- Acting nervous or agitated
- Vicious, unprovoked attacks
- Excessive salivation and difficulty swallowing
- Roaming or separating from the herd
- Abnormal vocalizations
- Unusual sexual activity
- Ascending paralysis, normally beginning in the hind limbs
- Signs of colic
- Sensitivity to light
If you believe your animal has been exposed to rabies, or possibly bitten by a rabid animal, contact your veterinarian immediately.
For information on human rabies, visit www.cdc.gov or www.edphe.state.co.us. If you believe you have been bit by an unvaccinated animal or you believe you have been exposed to rabies, contact your local health department.