Here is some startling Rabies Statistics:
- 100% preventable.
- 99.9% fatal.
- 59,000 people die every year due to Rabies (half are children).
- Most human cases are from dog bites.
- Millions of dogs are slaughtered every year as a result of the fear of Rabies.
- Post-exposure treatment in people is very expensive compared to the cost of a vaccine for your pet.
- Rabies occurs in every continent except for Australia and Antarctica
Rabies is the oldest disease known to mankind. The most noteworthy is a written description of a bite from a Rabid dog in the 23rd century B.C. This virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. In North America, the fox, skunk, raccoon, and bat are the most common source of infection. The most common source of infection is stray dogs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As a result, millions of dogs are slaughtered to try and prevent this disease. Also, human exposure and fatalities are more common in the latter countries.
Signs in animals:
- Change in behavior
- Biting without being provoked
- Pica (eating abnormal items such as rocks, nails, and dirt)
- Running for no apparent reason
- A change in vocalization (Hoarse bark or growl or inability to bark or growl)
- Excessive salivation
Signs in humans:
- 80% of cases show pain or itching at the site of the wound
- Fever, lethargy and headache lasting 2-4 days
- Fear of water (Hydrophobia)
- Intolerance to noise, bright lights, and air
- Fear of impending death
- Change in behavior
- In the later stages, the sight of water will provoke spasms in the neck and throat
There is no treatment for animals suspected of Rabies. Therefore, animals must be either quarantined or euthanized, and brain tissue tested for the virus. Post-exposure treatment with antiserum is very successful in humans if started early.
- Vaccinate your pets
- Avoid being bitten by a dog (or another animal)
- Understand dog body language
- Don’t tease or attach dogs
- Teach children how to act around dogs
- Teach children to ask before petting a dog
- If you feel threatened by a dog, stand still and stare at the ground
You can also find more information in my blog Fact vs. Fiction about Rabies from a Guthrie Vet
Guthrie Pet Hospital is offering Rabies vaccines for $7.00 from September 19th-24th. Call to schedule your appointment today.