Just get them vaccinated. It’s not worth the risk.
Maybe you’re hesitant about getting your dog (or yourself) vaccinated. If you aren’t going to do it to protect yourself or your dog, at least do it to protect others. Diseases among our pets and each other is a serious public health issue — that’s why rabies shots are state law!
Rabies in particular can not only be transferred from animal to animal but from animal to human. Vaccinating your dog against rabies will protect you, your dog, and other creatures (raccoons, ferrets, and skunks can all become rabid animals).
If you aren’t sure if your dog has had any of these vaccines already, your veterinarian can perform a titer test to see if they need revaccination. This is an antibody blood test that can detect whether or not a vaccine is still protecting your dog’s immune system.
Pet owners who want to learn more about these vaccines and their pet’s wellness should contact their DVM with any questions. Don’t forget to set reminders on your calendar to keep up-to-date with your pet’s vaccine schedule!
What Is Rabies?
According to the Canadian Veterinary Journal, the “rabies virus (RABV) is a Lyssavirus in the family Rhabdoviridae. Foxes, coyotes, and wolves are among the most susceptible to RABV infection … while domestic dogs … are only moderately susceptible.”
Rabies affects many animals, and it is cross-species transmissible, which means it can be transferred to humans as well. Rabies in humans is nearly always fatal once symptoms have become present.
Rabies is transmissible through saliva and blood. That means an infected animal can scratch, bite, or transmit saliva into an open wound of another animal or human and transmit the virus.
There is no definitive answer as to what the incubation period is for rabies, as it is variable according to the type of rabies it is, the strength of your dog’s immunity, how old they are, and how far away the bite is from the nervous system (leg versus neck).
If your dog is infected with the rabies virus, they can start to show symptoms anywhere between three and eight weeks.
Symptoms of rabies include:
Typically, death is quick to follow within as little as three to eight days once symptoms have begun.
When to Vaccinate Your Dog for Rabies
When a dog can get a rabies shot depends upon his age. A puppy should have his first rabies vaccination at 14 to 16 weeks of age and another vaccine a year later. He then needs a booster shot every one to three years, depending on the vaccine. Only licensed veterinarians can give rabies shots, so discuss the vaccine with your vet.
Early Puppy Rabies Vaccination – A Good Idea? – Dog Health Vet Advice
I am so glad you asked. Why? Because rabies is a viral disease that is almost always fatal once symptoms appear, and proper vaccination is the best and only way to keep you and your dog safe.
There is no test that can be done on a living person or an animal to tell if they are infected, and there is no treatment that can stop the virus once symptoms occur. As soon as you are able to tell if you or your pet is infected with the virus, it is too late.
Not to mention, if your dog is not up to date on her rabies vaccine and she bites, gets bitten or has a wound of unknown origin that could possibly be a bite, the state law may require that your pet be quarantined or even euthanized to keep other pets and people safe.
Keeping your pets current with their rabies vaccines is absolutely essential and even required by law. Here is what you should know about rabies vaccinations.