Facts about Rabies

ask-the-vet-rabies

What is Rabies?
Rabies is a disease cause by the rabies Virus. It may take several weeks or even a few years for people to show symptoms after getting infected with rabies, but usually people start to show signs of the disease in 1-3 months. The early signs can be of fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs, such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive. This is why it is very important to talk to your doctor right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.

Wild animals are much more likely to carry rabies, especially raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes. However, dogs, cats, cows, or any warm-blooded animal can pass rabies to people and it is usually through a bite.

Can animals transmit rabies to me?
Yes, many kinds of animals can pass rabies to people. Wild animals are much more likely to carry rabies, especially raccoons, skunks, bats, foxes, and coyotes. However, dogs, cats, cows, or any warm-blooded animal can pass rabies to people and it is usually through a bite. Many animals such as dogs, cats, and horses are vaccinated against rabies, but you should always wash any bite thoroughly and check with you doctor.

How can I protect myself from getting rabies?
Be a responsible pet owner:

  1. Keep vaccinations up to date for all dogs, cats, and ferrets.
  2. Keep your pets under direct supervision so they do not come in contact with wild animals
  3. Call local animal control to remove any stray animals from your neighborhood.
  4. Avoid contact with unfamiliar animals and don’t feed them or handle them.
  5. Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your hoe.
  6. Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals or adopt them whether sick or healthy.

Thanks to the Center for Disease Control for the information above.

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