Rabies- A Real Risk

Your veterinarian most likely recommends a Rabies vaccination to be given every 1-3 years for your pets, regardless of whether they spend much time outdoors. What is Rabies and is it really a risk to our pets?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease, found world-wide, that is transmitted through saliva during a bite. This disease is taken seriously for 2 main reasons, that it can be transmitted to people and that it is fatal almost 100% of the time. It can only be diagnosed by direct examination of the brain, meaning there is no diagnostic test available in a live animal.
Rabies vaccination for our companion animals is safe, effective and, to some extent, mandated by law in all states. In Pima County, we are required to vaccinate dogs, but not cats. However, I still recommend vaccination of all cats, even if they are exclusively kept indoors. In Arizona, the main sources of rabies are in populations of bats, skunks and foxes. So far this year Rabies has been diagnosed in almost every county in Arizona, with Pima County being the leader with 20 cases at the time this article is written (July 2019). I’ve had cases of rabid bats or other wildlife making their way into client’s houses and putting their household at risk. This disease is a risk to people and pets, even in Green Valley. All bites to people or pets from a wild animal should be taken very seriously and the affected should seek medical attention immediately.
If you would like more information on Rabies or any other infectious disease, or to make sure your pet is protected, please call Valley Verde Veterinarians for an appointment at (520) 393-7387.

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