What is Rabies and what steps should I take to keep my pet safe?
What is Rabies?
“Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes, although any mammal can get rabies.” (cited below)
How to spot the signs and symptoms
“The first symptoms of rabies may be similar to the flu, including weakness or discomfort, fever, or headache. There also may be discomfort, prickling, or an itching sensation at the site of the bite. These symptoms may last for days.
Symptoms then progress to cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, and agitation. As the disease progresses, the person may experience delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia (fear of water), and insomnia. The acute period of disease typically ends after 2 to 10 days. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal, and treatment is typically supportive.” (cited below)
Basically the farther away from the brain, the slower it will act. If your pet does get bit by wildlife or any other animal, get them to the vet right away!
These few simple steps can help save your pet:
1- If you haven’t taken your pet to the vet, do so!! They need their vaccines just like we need ours! All puppies and kittens over 12 weeks old should have their rabies vaccine!
2- When your pets are outdoors keep a close eye on them so that there are no unintentional interactions with other animals.
3- If you haven’t already, spay or neuter your pet to reduce unexpected pregnancies and puppies that may end up in a shelter.
4- If you have an animal on your property or come in contact with an animal that seems ill, call Animal Control right away!
If you are in the Raleigh area, here are some contact info for Animal Control:
Wake County Animal Center: (919) 212-7387
Wildlife Removal Raleigh: (919) 825-2060
Critter Control Triangle: (919) 382-0651
On Call Wildlife and Gutter Guard: (919) 482-2976
Triangle Wildlife Removal & Pest Control, Inc.: (919) 661-0722
Carolina Wildlife Removal: (919) 896-4278
All information here is cited from: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/about.html