The rabies vaccination is designed to protect your pet, yourself, your family members and just about anyone else from this life-threatening disease.
Rabies, without treatment, can be fatal. It’s transmitted through saliva usually by a scratch or a bite from an animal that is infected and is passed on to another human or animal. The central nervous system is affected by rabies. Since it’s deadly to both animals and humans, it’s considered a huge public health threat. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, this disease causes around 50,000 human deaths throughout the world annually.
There are distinct phases that rabies progresses through which include:
- This disease starts off from a bite or scratch and enters the body where it begins traveling to the brain nerves. There is typically an incubation time that could last for several weeks to months where no symptoms are present or experienced. The animal that is affected is not able to transmit the disease during this incubation period.
- As the disease gets to the brain, it causes brain inflammation since it multiplies quickly. It then starts to descend through the body and travels to the saliva and salivary glands. It is during this time that it can be transmitted by the animal. Your pet may begin to experience flu-like symptoms as well as fever, general discomfort or weakness and headache. They might also experience itching, discomfort and a prickling feeling where they were bit.
- After a few days of this, your pet will then begin to develop other symptoms such as confusion, anxiety, cerebral dysfunction, muscle paralysis, agitation and abnormal behavior. This is at the point where the rabies virus is near fatal.
- Once the rabies reaches the diaphragm and paralyzes it, death typically occurs since normal lung function is no longer possible.
You can get an animal infected with rabies in your home at any time. Bats can enter through your chimney, windows and screens and are the most common cause of this disease in the U.S. Since bats pose a severe health risk, you should report a bat in your home right away to the health department.
If you don’t vaccinate your pet with the rabies vaccination and they end up biting another animal or human, they will need to be observed and confined for almost two weeks. If they begin displaying any rabies symptoms, they will be euthanized and rabies testing will be administered to them. In addition to this, you also risk a hefty lawsuit on your hands.
In general, it is required by law to have your pet vaccinated against rabies. By not doing so, you risk the consequences should they bite another animal or person. Therefore, to be on the safe side, you should set up an appointment right away to get your pet the rabies vaccination.