Even if you have pets, chances are you don’t think about rabies much—after all, the rabies vaccine is required in all states including Oregon, and because of that, the disease is not as widespread or common as it used to be. However, rabies is still very much a danger and as deadly as ever. This disease, once fully manifested, is nearly always fatal for both pets and people. Most recently, a cat in Springfield, OR tested positive for the disease.
Most veterinary hospitals, including ours, require patients to be up-to-date on the rabies vaccine for the health and safety of the patient, as well as people who come into contact with patients (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis in the event the vaccine is not recommended due to your pet’s health condition).
Rabies is a viral disease that is generally spread through saliva, with bites being the most common method of transmission. Rabies is also a zoonotic disease—meaning it can be transmitted from one species to another and can infect both animals and humans. The disease is treatable, but with one major catch: medication must be administered before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, once signs of the disease begin to show, chances of survival become very slim.
Fortunately, some simple precautions will help keep your beloved pet and your family safe. The single most important thing you can do is to keep up with your furry friend’s vaccinations. Spaying or neutering will also help, as intact pets are more likely to wander. Finally, don’t let your dog approach wild animals when out for walks or hikes.
For more information about rabies or to update your pet’s vaccinations, call us at 503-360-9695.