Rabies

Rabies

Rabies virus, caused by a Rhabdovirus, can infect a broad range of animals and people. Due to the nature of this virus being able to infect both humans and animals, or a process called zoonosis, the rabies virus has a high fatality rate of any disease. Most commonly infection occurs from coming in contact with a rabid animal. Bites are very common way to get rabies but exposure to saliva stands to be just as dangerous. Wildlife do act as a reservoir host, maintain a source of rabies, which makes it critical to be very careful to avoid unnecessary contact with wildlife and to make sure all pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine. Foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks and bats are all potential carriers of rabies, but rabies can also be seen in horses and cattle. A bite wound left by a bat is so small that it is barely detectable, making it difficult to know whether you or your pet has been exposed or not.
What to do in case of exposure:
1. If you think your pet has been exposed…
• Call your veterinarian immediately.
• Determine what your pet’s rabies vaccination status
• If possible, quarantine your pets if you think they have come in contact with a rabid animal and call you veterinarian immediately.
2. If you have been bitten by a potentially rabid animal…
• Please contact your family/primary health care provider for more information about what to do.

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