Posted on 05-25-2017
There has recently been a rise in the number of rabies positive cases seen amongst our pet population here in the US. Two dogs in Colorado tested positive after exposure to a rabid skunk and cat as close to home as Norcross tested positive just last week after attacking several people. Not only is a current rabies vaccine required by law, if your pet’s vaccine is not current and exposure occurs, it could result in a lengthy quarantine period or even euthanasia.
Below are the recommendations based on the vaccination status of a pet that has endured a bite from a suspected rabies positive cat or dog or has had any close contact at all (bite not required) with wildlife. These guidelines were established in the 2016 edition of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association:
• Current rabies vaccination: proper veterinary care for bite wound, immediate administration of a rabies booster, and 45 days of observation under the owner’s care
• Previously vaccinated but vaccine no longer current: immediate administration of a rabies booster and 4 months of strict quarantine
• No previous rabies vaccination: euthanasia is recommended as development of disease is highly likely. A 6-month quarantine in an enclosure that “precludes direct contact with people and other animals” can be elected. A rabies booster should be administered at the start of the quarantine period.
Dr. Catherine M. Brown, co-chair of the compendium committee, comments, “the best protection against rabies in both an individual animal and in the population is to have all of them currently vaccinated against rabies.”
Rabies is a disease that can be transmitted to people through the bite of an infected animal. The disease is considered fatal if left untreated. If you have been bitten by a domesticated pet or wildlife species, you should seek care from a physician as quickly as possible. Your physician will determine if beginning the post-exposure rabies vaccination series is appropriate for you.
If you’re unsure of your pet’s current vaccination status or need to get them in to have their vaccine updated, please give us a call today!
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