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Preventing Rabies: Tips for Protecting Your Pets

LongIsland.com

Rabies can be spread to humans as well as pets.

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Rabies is a deadly virus that is usually spread by wild animals. The disease can cause a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, fear of water, excitation, agitation, salivation and a tingling sensation around the area of the bite.
 
Most animals and humans will die within the first few days of these symptoms. It is important to be able to recognize the early symptoms of rabies in humans as well, which can include headache, fever and weakness.
 
However the best way to avoid rabies is to protect your pets from coming in contact with wild animals. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 90% of reported rabies cases occur in wild animals.
 
You should be sure that your pets get their rabies vaccination every year. Pets that have not gotten a vaccination and have been exposed to rabies must be quarantined for six months or put down. From time to time, you will be able to find free rabies shots provided by the SPCA and other organizations. However, it is most important to visit your veternarian periodically to make sure your pet's shots are up to date.
 
Pets should also be spayed or neutered in order to prevent unwanted animals that can contribute to the spread of rabies. You should also avoid feeding or watering your animals outside. Also, keep your garbage secure as this can attract wild animals.
 
During the summer months, pets spend a lot of time outside. Anytime you are hiking, camping or playing outdoors with your pets, do not let them come into contact with wild or stray animals.
 
If you or your pet is bitten by any wild animal, immediately call a healthcare provider or vet. Don’t forget to contact animal control to capture the animal. Rabies can be prevented through a series of post-exposure-prophylaxis shots, but only if the patient is treated before the onset of symptoms.
 
Families should discuss rabies, and parents should make sure their children are aware of the risks and how to prevent the disease and keep your animals safe and healthy,
 
[Source: CDC]