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PEORIA, AZ – Every year you take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup where he receives his annual vaccines. One of those vaccines is a rabies shot, but what exactly is rabies? How is transmitted and what if you get bit?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease, says the Center for Disease Control. It is transmitted through the bite of a rabid wild animal, most likely a raccoon, skunk, bat, or fox.
When transmitted, rabies attacks the central nervous system of the brain resulting in death. If you are bit by a wild animal, or a rabid dog, you will start to feel sick, but take note—the rabies virus has symptoms that mimic most illnesses. You may be infected and not even know it. Early symptoms include a fever, headache, and weakness. A person or animal infected may also experience paralysis and hypersalivation, or excess saliva. Without treatment, death is imminent with a few days of transmission.
If you believe you have come in contact with the rabies virus, call your doctor immediately. Call your doctor, as well for any animal bit. If you have been bit, it’s important to clean your wound right away with soap and water. Keeping your wound clean is the best way to decrease your chance of infection.
When you see your doctor, he or she will decide if you need a rabies vaccination. Have them contact your local health department or county animal control office to see if the animal can be caught. If the animal cannot be caught, the vaccine, postexposure prophylaxis, or PEP, will be started immediately. Dogs that bite are held and observed for 10 days. If the dog remains healthy within that time frame, then the dog does not have rabies.
PEP is given in a series of shots, the first being a dose of immune globulin. Immune globulin will prevent a rabies infection. After that, a person will be given four doses of rabies vaccine over a fourteen day period. The first two shots, immune globulin, and a rabies shot should be administered by your doctor as soon as possible. Subsequent doses of the rabies vaccine will be given on days three, seven and fourteen. If treatment is started immediately, PEP is 100% successful in curing rabies.
For more helpful tips on keeping your dog happy, healthy, and safe, keep reading our blog, at www.arrowheadscoopers.com. Give us a call today, at (602) 391-0160 to receive your free pet waste removal quote. Arrowhead Scoopers is the leading pet waste removal service in the Glendale and Peoria, Arizona areas. Happy Tails!