EDGEWOOD ANIMAL CLINIC RAISES AWARENESS
of RABIES DISEASE
Every year, more than 30,000 people in the United States are exposed to rabies. Worldwide, about 55,000 people die from the virus, equaling about one totally preventable human death every 10 minutes.
Rabies is a zoonotic viral disease maintained in domestic and wild carnivores and bats all over the world. It is transmitted to other animals and humans through close contacts with saliva from infected animals (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin and mucous membranes).The vast majority of rabies cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year occur in wild animals like raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. The virus usually incubates from two to eight weeks before signs are noticed. However, transmission of the virus through saliva can happen as early as ten days before symptoms appear. Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal to both animals and humans.
Rabies is considered one of the world's oldest viral problems, with the first written record of the infection in dogs dating back to 1930 B.C. It was virtually eradicated in the United Kingdom through strict wandering animal and vaccination regulations in the 20th century, but raccoons have increased the spread of the disease in the United States, and recent pet booms have increased the incidence of infection.
Now that the human-animal bond is increasing, and domestic animals are in greater contact with wildlife as they move into suburban areas, there is even more concern. People need to be reminded constantly to vaccinate their pets and the simple message of "if you can touch it, don't" for people who find it hard to resist the urge to welcome wild animals with open arms.
Other forms of prevention are not to feed your pets outdoors or leave food out for any period of time. Keep trash receptacles out of reach or with secure lids in place. Do not feed "strays" because Polk County laws state that if a person has an animal that is "being cared for" (including feeding), on your property, it is therefore the legal responsibility of that person. Polk County requires all pets to be currently vaccinated against rabies disease and have a county tag that represents that license.
Edgewood Animal Clinic offers one and three year rabies vaccines from Merial Manufacturers. Three year vaccinations can only be given when pets have received a one year inoculation previously. County certificates signed by our veterinarian are filled out for your convenience and license tags are obtained by submitting these forms with payment in addressed envelopes provided. We have reminder systems in place to send notices every year that your pet's vaccination is due for renewal.
Please help prevent this deadly disease from being a problem in our county and more importantly, your home. Protect the ones you love and make sure your pet is current on their rabies vaccinations. Together we can make a difference in our community and our country.