What does To Kill A Mockingbird, Cujo, Their Eyes Were Watching God and Old Yeller all have in common? Besides being great fictional works of literature, they all contain a Rabies victim. September 28th is World Rabies Day which was designed to increase community awareness of Rabies and its prevention. This week Dr. Anna Coffin reveals all the facts.
Signs and symptoms of Rabies in Humans:
- Difficulty swallowing
Signs and symptoms of Rabies in animals:
- Paralytic form: Excessive salivation, inability to swallow and dropped lower jaw is the first signs to appear, followed by paralysis, coma, and Animals with this form of Rabies are not aggressive. Many owners think the pet has something lodged in their mouth or throat and expose themselves by sticking their hand in the pet’s mouth
- Furious form: As the name describes, these animals will viciously attack without being provoked. They are hypervigilant and anxious. Wild animals will lose their fear of humans, and nocturnal animals will come out in broad daylight to attack.
Animals must be euthanized and brain tissue submitted to a laboratory for testing.
- Dogs and cats can receive a Rabies vaccine as early as 12 weeks of age.
- A second Rabies vaccine is required one year later.
- After their first annual vaccine, Rabies vaccines are required every one to three years depending on public health recommendations. In the state of Oklahoma, this is determined by each city.
- Cats account for three times more Rabies cases than dogs.
- Monitor your pet while outdoors.
- Contact animal control, game warden or sheriff department to remove potentially unvaccinated stray or wild animals.
- Don’t leave food, water, and garbage accessible for stray or wild animals.