Our records indicate it's time for your pet to receive its Rabies vaccine. For most people, hearing the word rabies strikes great fear. With Hollywood portrayals such as “Cujo,” and the inevitably lethal result of a rabies infection, these fears are somewhat justified. But with understanding and knowledge, fears can be replaced with a healthy respect for the virus.
The rabies virus can infect almost any mammal, INCLUDING HUMANS. It is shed in the saliva and transmitted typically by bite wounds. Without treatment, the virus eventually attacks the nervous system and results in death. Throughout the world, 35,000 people die each year from rabies. In the United States, about 3 people succumb each year to rabies.
In the United States, rabies is most commonly found in skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes and bats.
Recently in the United States, cats have become the number one domestic animal diagnosed with rabies. It is suspected this is due to more cats being kept as pets and allowed to roam their neighborhoods.
Vaccinating our pets is the best way to protect us from exposure to Rabies. Texas law requires ALL puppies, kittens and ferets to receive their first Rabies vaccination between 3 and 4 months of age. This initial vaccination must be repeated within one year. After that, your cats and dogs may be re-vaccinated every 1, 2 or 3 years, depending upon the laws in your community, and what Rabies vaccine your veterinarian used. Ferrets must be re-vaccinated annually.
The doctors of Windmill Animal Hospital use exclusively 3-year-licensed Rabies vaccines for all their canine patients.
Cats present a unique challenge, due to some health concerns found only in felines. Some cats (approximately 1 in 30,000) have an immune system that has a familial tendency to react to vaccines inappropriately. In these cats, the vaccine site is chronically inflamed post-vaccine, which can develop into a tumor. Because of this, the only Rabies vaccine for cats used at Windmill Animal Hospital is the adjuvant-free vaccine, PureVax. This vaccine is licensed to be given annually.
Ferrets must receive Rabies vaccine approved for use in ferrets between 3 & 4 months of age, and annually thereafter.