Most companion animals require yearly vaccinations against a number of viruses. The rabies vaccination is the only vaccination currently required by law.
As with vaccinating children there is always a controversy. If you are concerned about the risks of vaccinating and/or not vaccinating your pet please talk to your veterinarian.
This page contains information on common vaccinations for cats and dogs that are provided by your veterinarian.
Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus. All warm-blooded animals are susceptib;e. The disease is usually spread when an infected animal bites another animal or person. The bitten animal or person will not become infected, however, unless the salivia of the sick animals contains the rabies virus at the time of the bite. Bats, skunks, and foxes are the most commonly infected wild animals. Dogs and cats and the most commomly infected domestic animals.
Becasue the signs of rabies vary, diagnosis is very difficult while the animal is alive. The only positive diagnosis is by laboratory examination of certain tissues.
Early in the disease, affected animals may show a slight change in behavior or temperment. As the disease progresses, the animal become restless and excitable and may have a tendency to roam or eat unusual objects. The aniaml then may have trouble swallowing and may begin to drool excessively. Frequently the animals becomes vicious. Convulsions may occur and are usually fatal.
Some animals do not die in convulsions, but instead suffer paralysis of the lower jaw. Shortly after this, the paralysis spreads over the body and death occurs. This is called "dumb" rabies.
If a suspected rabid animal bites a person, the animal should be quarantined for 10 days. If the animal develops signs of rabies or dies, tissues must be sent to a laboratory for examination.
Because rabies is such a threat to people and other animals, affected animals are not treated. Euthanasia is mandatory.
Vaccination is the best means of rabies control. All pets should be vaccinated. Consult your veterinarian regarding the proper vaccination procedure for your pet and be sure your pet is regularly vaccinated.
I will be adding information on the above vaccinations shortly.
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