The first written record of Rabies occurred in the 23rd Century B.C. Even back then; they understood that fact that this disease was transmitted by the bite of an animal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the 19th Century that there was an accurate diagnosis, isolation of the virus and discovery of a Rabies vaccine and treatment for human exposure.
Who is at risk?
Birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians do not get rabies. However, any mammal can get rabies. In countries outside of the United States, the most common carrier of Rabies is the dog. Fortunately, the widespread use of Rabies vaccine in the United States has changed the most common carrier of Rabies to wild life. The primary carriers of Rabies in the United States are skunks, raccoons, bats, coyotes, and foxes. Cases of Rabies is on the rise in cats. Officials believe this is occurring because many people do not vaccinate their cats and due to trap-neuter-release programs.
The importance of Rabies tags
Did you know that every year your pet’s Rabies tag is a different color and different shape? 2017 Rabies tags are blue rosettes. The rotation of shapes and color tags is an international system to help animal control officers and local authorities to determine from afar if a pet has a current Rabies vaccine. Therefore, it is important that you remove old tags on your pet’s collar. If you want to keep them, remove them from the collar. Every Rabies tag contains a tag number which is unique to your pet and contact information for the veterinary clinic that administered the vaccine. Rabies tags are a great source for reuniting lost pets.
A licensed veterinarian must administer the Rabies vaccine. Veterinarians can vaccinate puppies and kittens for Rabies as early as 12 weeks of age and then followed by a booster in one year. It is up to state and local authorities to determine the length of the Rabies vaccination. In Oklahoma, each city can choose if they want to require Rabies vaccine every year or every three years. In Guthrie, Oklahoma officials require the vaccine yearly because we live in an area with lots of Rabies cases.