Most pet parents know that rabies is bad and that it can create “killer animals,” mainly from movies or maybe the news. But what is it, really? And why is it so bad?
Rabies is a very deadly disease that essentially ATTACKS the nervous system of your pet.
Only mammals can get rabies. Most cases of rabies occur in wild animals–this means if your pet is an outdoor pet he or she is at extreme risk! Wild animals include (but are not limited to) skunks, coyotes, foxes and raccoons. The rabies virus is spread by a bite from an infected animal (the bite is actually not the deadly part–it’s the saliva of the infected animal).
This is how an infected animal’s bite can also spread and act deadly to humans. Just like other diseases, if an animal infected with rabies gets their saliva on an open cut, in your eyes, nose or mouth it’s possible to also contract the disease.
Rabies is considered fatal as soon as the outward signs are present. The most common signs of your pet having the rabies disease are (remember this disease literally ATTACKS the nervous system):
- behavioral changes
- unexplained paralysis
- paralysis in the jaw
- foaming at the mouth
The importance of vaccinating against this disease cannot be overstated as it is a 100% preventable disease.
World Rabies Day is on September 28th to raise awareness of this disease. Make sure your pets are vaccinated and spread the word!