Here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinarian, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, we like to celebrate various pet holidays. We’ve paid homage to all sorts of them, from Doggie Date Night to Hairball Awareness Day. However, an upcoming one, September 28th is a very serious one: it’s World Rabies Day. This deadly disease is still around, and is just as fatal as ever. A local vet offers some basic information on it below.
Rabies: Basic Facts
Rabies is actually the deadliest disease on the planet. Once symptoms appear, it is nearly 100 percent fatal. While the disease is much rarer than it used to be, it has by no means been eradicated. In the US, there are about 400 to 500 cases of pets being infected with rabies every year. The worldwide statistics are much more dire. There are about 56,000 estimated human deaths from rabies each year.
Rabies is transmitted through saliva, usually via the bite of an infected animal. The animals most likely to be infected are skunks, foxes, bats, wolves, and coyotes. However, the disease can also be spread by many other animals, such as bears, groundhogs, and even chipmunks and gerbils.
Rabies can present in many ways. Some things to look for in cats include behavioral changes, aggression, and withdrawal. A friendly cat may become aggressive, while a grouchy one may suddenly start demanding attention. As for dogs, red flags include whining, fever, restlessness, vomiting, and staggering. In both dogs and cats, drooling and difficulty swallowing can be red flags. Contact your vet immediately if you notice your pet displaying these symptoms.
There is some good news here. If you have a dog or cat, all you need to do to protect your furry friend is keep up with their vaccinations. Horses and ferrets can also be vaccinated. However, there are no approved vaccines for many other pets, such as rabbits. With these guys, the big thing is to take care not to expose them to wild animals. It’s important to protect yourself as well. If there is any risk of you coming into contact with wild animals, get yourself vaccinated ASAP. Ask both your doctor and your veterinarian for more information.
Is your furry friend due for a rabies vaccination? Please contact us here at Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinarian, serving Louisville and surrounding areas.