September 28th is World Rabies Day. Rabies is fairly rare now, but it hasn’t gone away. In fact, it may be more dangerous than ever, as many people do not realize how deadly it is. A local Roanoke, VA vet goes over some key information about rabies in this article.
This deadly disease’s name comes from the Latin word rabies, which means madness. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can affect both people and pets. The virus spreads through the bite of infected animals, usually skunks, bats, coyotes, or foxes. After a person has been bitten, there is only a limited time where they can seek treatment. This can be as little as four days, though it can take as much as six years. However slowly or quickly this happens, once symptoms begin to appear, the outcome in nearly 100 percent of cases is, unfortunately, death.
It’s important for pet owners to know the signs of infection. In dogs, some of the signs to watch for include fever, trouble swallowing, restlessness, vomiting, drooling, staggering, and seizures. Your canine pal may also seem hyper reactive to stimuli, such as lights and sounds. Aggression can be a sign. However, contrary to popular belief, that isn’t always the case. Cats may withdraw, or just start acting erratically. Cuddly felines may get grumpy, while grumpy kitties may become affectionate. Difficulty swallowing is also a red flag in both people and pets. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Rabies fortunately isn’t very widespread these days. However, there are still about 500 cases of pets contracting it every year. Sadly, there are no known successful treatments for pets. Fortunately, all you have to do to protect your furry pal is keep up with their vaccinations. Be sure to keep your pet’s paperwork handy, just in case anything happens. We also recommend that you refrain from handling wild animals. If you have any risk—no matter how small–of coming into contact with an infected animal, you’ll also need to keep up with your vaccines. Even waking up to find a bat in your room is cause for a call to your doctor.
Is your pet due for a vaccine or exam? Contact us, your local Roanoke, VA animal clinic, today. We are dedicated to offering the best veterinary care around.