A lot of pet owners do not truly understand the dangers of rabies, many feel that it is just a vaccine to prevent a disease, which is true, but it is so much more. People lead secluded lives along with their pets, unlike a decade or two ago, pets and their owners do not spend a lot of time outside around undomesticated animals. That is where the real threat comes from; it is not always other dogs and cats.
Rabies affects the nervous system of its victims causing slobbering (foaming at the mouth), depression, drastic behavior change and aggressiveness to name a few. It is spread by the salvia of the infected animal to the victim via biting; humans can get rabies if bitten by a rabid animal. If an infected animal bites an unvaccinated animal the likelihood of the disease passing to the bitten animal is very high and treatment must begin immediately. If rabies is suspected in an animal, it should be quarantined for at least ten days or longer.
Treatment is dependent on the animal and the severity of the infection; it can vary drastically between species and the degree of infection. Test results from a veterinary laboratory will determine the severity. Local authorities should be notified in the event rabies is detected.
Vaccination is the key, every veterinarian and/or person involved with the care of animals will emphasize the importance of preventative care for your pet. If you suspect your pet has been bitten by an infected animal, contact your veterinarian immediately for assistance,
Dr. Beverly Cannady
Little Mountain Veterinary Clinic