Posts Tagged: Rabies

Understanding Rabies: Know The Facts


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. Continue…

Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate.

RabiesThis year World Rabies Day is September 28, 2016. Guthrie Pet Hospital is offering a discount on Rabies vaccines from September 19th – 24th.





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-24thCall to schedule your appointment today.

Guthrie vet clinic lets the cat out of the bag!

Guthrie vet clinic lets cat out of bag about vaccines

Guthrie vet clinic spills the beans and tells all about cat vaccines.  What are they and which ones do you need?

This is the seventh part of a Guthrie vet wants to take you on a journeyEver wonder what all those initials (DHLPP, FVRCP) meant at the Guthrie vet clinic when you go to get your pet vaccinated? Well, it’s quite simple; each letter stands for a disease that is contained within the vaccine. This week a Guthrie vet clinic will talk about cat vaccines. The annual vaccines for your cat are FVRCP, also commonly called feline distemper,  leukemia and Rabies. Here is what they each stand for:

1.  FVR stands for feline viral rhinotracheitis:  Rhinotracheitis is caused by a virus transmitted through the air.  Clinical signs include fever, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, and eye discharge.

2.  C stands for Calicivirus and Chlamydia.  Calicivirus  is transmitted in saliva. It is a very hardy virus which is easily transmitted.  Clinical signs include fever, anorexia, oral ulcers, and clear nasal discharge.   Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted in saliva. Clinical signs include squinting, congestion, weepy eyes, sneezing, and a clear nasal discharge.

3.  P stand for Panleukopenia:  Panleukopenia also known as  feline distemper is caused by a virus that is shed in body secretions. Clinical signs include decreased white blood cells count, high fever, anorexia, vomiting, green gooey diarrhea, and dehydration. This infection is most common in young kittens and is an often a fatal disease even in adult cats with no prior exposure.

4.  Leukemia:  Feline leukemia is a virus that suppresses the cat’s immune system. It can eventually cause leukemia, lymphoma, decreased red blood cell count, or reproductive disorders.  Symptoms include chronic mouth and gum infections, skin and ear infections, chronic respiratory disease, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and dehydration.  Feline leukemia is transmitted through blood or saliva primarily through cat bites.  It can also be passed from mothers to kittens in utero. The virus does not survive long outside a host and is easily killed by drying or cleaning.  Guthrie vet clinics only recommend this vaccine if your cat goes outside or is exposed to other cats that go outside.

5.  Rabies: Rabies is 100% fatal disease and is caused by a virus. The virus is only transmitted from the bite of another animal that is infected with the rabies virus. Symptoms can include sudden death, drastic changes in behavior and neurological symptoms. This disease is also contagious to humans and is 100% fatal.  

Don’t let your cat out of the bag and get sick from these preventable diseases.  Call your Guthrie vet clinic for an appointment today.

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you’d like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook,

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but our very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.

Photo by:  Andrea Schaffer

Fact vs. Fiction about Rabies from a Guthrie vet

Guthrie vet states the facts about Rabies.

Guthrie vet


This week’s article is brought to you by The Crazies.  The Crazies is an action packed, scary movie about a town that has been contaminated by Rabies.  The people in the town begin to develop symptoms and start killing one another.  In this week’s blog a Guthrie vet lists the top three misconceptions about Rabies that they used in this movie.

1.     Rabies is an airborne or water contagion.

Actually, Rabies is a contagious disease but is primarily transmitted from an infected animal via bite wounds.  Raccoons are the most common animal to be infected with Rabies in the United States.  Bats are the most common animal responsible for transmission to people in the United States.  Cats are the most common domestic animal infected with rabies in the United States but dogs are the most common world wide states a Guthrie vet.

2.     Symptoms include bloody nose and zombie-like activity.

Actually, many people associate Rabies with frothing from the mouth.  Although this is a symptom that can be seen, it is rare.  A Guthrie vet says symptoms in animals are usually a change in behavior, such as seeing a wild animal out during the day and being friendly.  Animals with Rabies can also appear sick, crazed or vicious.  Symptoms in people starts with pain and tingling at the bite wound and slowly progresses to fever, confusion, agitation and eventually death.

3.     Treatment involves shooting the infected person in the head.

Actually, treatment must be started before symptoms appear, which can occur from 10 to 60 days after the bite wound.   Immediate wound cleaning and treatment is very important.  A one-time injection of human rabies immune- globulin (or HRIG) provides rapid, short-term protection against rabies.  Long term protection is provided through a series of vaccines.

If you or your pet has been attacked by an animal that you think might have Rabies DO NOT shoot the animal in the head.  The only way to test for Rabies is to identify the virus in the brain tissue of the infected animal.  A Guthrie vet should remove the head and send it to your state health department.

Remember–Rabies is a virus that can affect any mammal and is 100% fatal once symptoms begin to develop.  Rabies, in humans, is rare in the U.S., with only 27 cases occurring since 1990.  Although rabies in humans is very rare in the United States, between 16,000 and 39,000 people receive preventive medical treatment each year after being exposed to a potentially rabid animal.

Anant N S ( / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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