World Rabies Day

September 28th is World Rabies Day. An initiative started by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) in 2007, World Rabies Day is used to raise awareness and promote rabies prevention around the world. While cases of rabies in the United States are relatively low, prevention is key in ensuring that instances of this deadly disease do not occur in our home.

Rabies is a rare, but in most cases fatal, virus that attacks the brain. This virus can affect any warm-blooded mammal, including our family pets such as dogs and cats. Terrifyingly enough, rabies can affect humans as well. There are specific animals that are more susceptible to rabies, such as bats, foxes, skunks, and raccoons. This deadly disease is spread through saliva and is transmitted through the bite of a rabid mammal to another. In some cases, rabies can even be spread through the handling of an infected dead animal.

Laws passed in the United States requiring dogs to be vaccinated against rabies have greatly reduced the occurrence of rabies throughout the country. Unfortunately, rabies is still affecting tens of thousands of people across the world. According to the California Department of Public Health, an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 of human cases of rabies occur each year, with 90% of cases occurring following exposure to a rabid dog. Most of these cases occur in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East where canine rabies is more prevalent.

Prevention of rabies by the use of the rabies vaccine is imperative in keeping your family and pets safe from this deadly disease. Through use of this vaccine, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control hopes to eliminate rabies death by the year 2030. All dogs in the state of California are required by law to receive the rabies vaccine. Dogs are recommended to be licensed by 4 months of age and should receive a rabies vaccine, with a second vaccine 12 months later and a booster every 3 years thereafter. Although not currently required by law, it is highly recommended that cats should receive a rabies vaccine as well. All family members and pets should not come in contact with wild animals.

The rabies vaccine is incredibly safe and effective. If you have any questions about the rabies vaccine or need to schedule your pet’s next appointment, you may contact us today.

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care is an AAHA-accredited animal hospital located in Encinitas, CA. The Drake Center loves being a source of information for all pet owners across the country however if you have any questions regarding pet care and do not live in Encinitas, CA or surrounding cities, we encourage you to contact your local veterinarian.

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