Pets: Rabies Control

Society | April 23, 2004, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Have your veterinarian vaccinate your cats, dogs, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date. Your veterinarian will advise you on the recommended or required frequency of vaccination in your locality.

Reduce the possibility of exposure to rabies by keeping your animals on your property. Don't let pets roam free. Don't leave garbage or pet food outside because it may attract wild or stray animals.

Wild animals should not be kept as pets. They are a potential rabies threat to their owners and to others. Observe all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly.

If You Have Been Bitten:

Don't panic - but don't ignore the bite either. Wash the wound thoroughly and vigorously with soap and lots of water. Call your physician immediately. Explain how you were bitten and follow the physician's advice.

If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least try to identify it before it runs away. Don't try to pick the animal up.

Call the local animal control authorities to come and get the animal.
If it is a wild animal, try to capture it if you can do so safely without being bitten again. If the animal cannot be captured and it must be killed to prevent its escape, don't damage the head. The brain will be needed to test for rabies.

If Your Pet Has Been Bitten:

Immediately consult your veterinarian.

Dogs, cats and ferrets that are currently vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately, kept under the owner's control, and observed for a period as specified by state law or local ordinances.

Animals with expired vaccinations will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal may need to be euthanatized immediately. Alternatively, the animal should be checked and immediately placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released.
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