Archive for August, 2009

Why Should I Have My Dog Vaccinated Against Rabies?

Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions (keep them coming). The most asked Vet-related question for the month of July 2009 was:

“Why should I have my dog vaccinated against rabies?” and McKenzie Veterinary Services Vet Technician, Nicolle Lejeune, has kindly provided us with the following very thorough and helpful answer (thanks Nicolle!)

“The primary reason to have your pets vaccinated for rabies is to prevent the transmission of the disease to you or your pets.

Rabies is a deadly disease  caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted to people and animals by a bite from an infected animal. Rabies is transferred when a rabid animal comes into contact with an open cut on the skin, eyes, nose or mouth of an animal or person.

Any animal that is suspected as a carrier of rabies will be quarantined for no less than 10 days after the bite or euthanized.

If a pet has been bitten by a carrier of rabies (typically bats or sometimes racoons) and is vaccinated, the transmission of rabies is less likely and symptoms of the disease are unlikely to appear.

If an unvaccinated pet is bitten by a rabid animal and is infected, the disease is almost always fatal.

Is it also important to place the rabies identification tag (good for 3 years) on collars of any pet that goes outdoors. If your pet is picked up by local by-law officials and is suspected of having rabies, the tag will prevent your animal from being euthanized or quarantined at your cost.

Also, if you are traveling to other countries including the US, your pet will NOT be permitted to enter the county without being vaccinated and having the proper documentation.” – Nicolle Lejeune, Vet Tech

The above are all very good reasons for making sure that YOUR best friends are always up to date with the rabies vaccinations. Check your rabies tags and make sure your pet gets regular boosters every three years.

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