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Rabies- Not a Disease of the Past

Image of a dog foaming at the mouth.

Did you ever think that your pet's rabies vaccination wasn't all that important? Did you know that if your cat or dog is not current on its rabies vaccination, and a stray or wild animal bites your pet, the County Health Department can, and will, demand that the pet be euthanized or strictly quarantined for six months, and they will not allow them to be quarantined at home? Did you know that if your cat or dog bites someone and it is not current on its rabies vaccination that the County Health Department can demand that the pet be euthanized and tested for rabies? Do you think an indoor only cat has no possible exposure to rabies?

Rabies is a deadly form of viral encephalitis that affects the brain and nerves of mammals. It is most often spread through saliva but it can also be in aerosol droplets that can be inhaled. Rabies is transmitted primarily through bite wounds. Skunks, bats, raccoons, and foxes are the primary carriers. Cats, dogs and cattle account for most of the rabies cases in domestic animals. Rabies is also fatal to humans, as there has been only one case of a person surviving rabies when treatment was started after clinical signs were present. Puppies are vaccinated when three to four months of age and then one year later.

Each state varies in its rabies law, but most states require rabies vaccine every three years for adult pets, and some states still require them annually. We recommend rabies vaccinations even for those cats that live only indoors. It prevents legal and bureaucratic issues in case your cat bites or scratches any visitor. Also, there have been cases where people have found bats inside their house that tested positive for rabies.

Rabies Statistics

1) 55,000 people worldwide die from rabies each year. Most are in Asia and Africa.

2) One person dies from rabies every 10 minutes

3) In the US in 2007, 7000 animal cases of rabies were reported.

4) One to three cases of rabies in people are reported each year in the US.

5) Five years of a canine vaccination program in Mexico reduced human rabies cases in Mexico from 60 per year to less than 20.

6) World Rabies Day is Sept 28. An alliance of US veterinary pharmaceutical companies, the Center for Disease Control, and British organizations are trying to raise awareness of the severity of the rabies problem.

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  • "To Dr Dendtler and Staff, I cant begin to tell you how impressed I am with the loving care you have given to my cat Baxter, before and after the much needed surgery. Baxter is so pleased with the outcome; he goes around purring all day."
    Thanks again. -Estelle P.
  • "Dear Pamella, We want to thank all of you so much, not only for the loving care and consideration you showed us last Thursday when we had to say goodbye to Gericho but also for all the years of check-ups and other crisis' that we went through with him. We know it was your good efforts that allowed him to live a full and vigorous 16 years that gave us so much pleasure. Please know that we have always found your staff to be so courteous and helpful all these years."
    Thank you. -Cathy W.
  • "Dear Dr. Dendtler, You were very thorough and caring in treating Buddy. You explained clearly how to protect my dog. I have been to many clinics but you are the best. You were very professional and compassionate. Buddy and I are very grateful. Thanks ever so much to you and your staff."
    John L.
  • "Hi Dr Dendtler, Thank you so very much for fixing my eye. I can see clearly now…I can see all obstacles in my way! Love Vernell R"
    Vernell R.

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