September 28th is World Rabies Day!
Rabies is a serious problem worldwide. Just this summer, a couple in Cherokee County was attacked by a rabid fox. Riverstone Animal Hospital offers $8 1-year rabies vaccines and $40 3-year rabies vaccines! If your pet comes to our Well Care Clinics, the exam is free, otherwise it is an additional $47 for a comprehensive exam. Click here for more information about our Well Care Clinics! Call us today to schedule your pet’s rabies booster!
What is rabies?
Rabies is a fatal disease spread through bites or scratches. It travels from the bite up the nerves and into the brain. If treatment is started as soon as the bite happens, disease can be prevented. Initial symptoms include fever, weakness, and general discomfort. Later symptoms include difficulty swallowing and abnormal behavior (including aggression but also confusion, stumbling, or circling). Once symptoms are seen, it is not curable.
What animals carry rabies?
Any mammal can get it, and it can be transmitted to people! Animals that are more likely to have rabies in our part of the country include bats and raccoons.
What do I do if I or my pet was exposed?
If your pet has ANY CONTACT with wildlife, or gets in a fight with ANY ANIMAL, bring them to a veterinarian right away! If you wake up with a bat in your room, contact a wildlife specialist to catch the bat for testing, and see a doctor right away. You can contact our local environmental health office at (770) 479-0444. If your pets sleep in the room with you, bring them to a veterinarian. If you see a bat or other animal acting strangely outside, DO NOT APPROACH — they are much more likely to have rabies than an animal acting normally and running away.
What will happen at the vet?
This depends on several factors, including your pet’s vaccination status, whether the other animal was wild or a pet, and if it was a pet, whether it was up to date on vaccines. We will likely booster the rabies vaccine and discuss possible quarantine or further treatment.
CLICK HERE for a cool infographic from the AVMA on rabies statistics!
CLICK HERE for more information about rabies!