Did you know that not all dogs carry rabies? Contrary to popular belief, rabies is not an inborn disease in dogs and cats. In fact, rabies is a viral disease that can be transmitted to pets and humans through the bite of an infected animal.
Here at Maxime, we’ve gathered our team of experts to let you know the lowdown about this deadly disease. Keep on reading to find out more!
What is rabies?
Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the nervous system. It is spread through saliva and commonly through a bite of a rabid animal. In rare cases, transmission can happen when the saliva of an infected animal comes into contact with an open wound, eyes, nose, or mouth.
Once your pet or a human starts to exhibit signs of rabies, the virus is always nearly fatal.
Signs and symptoms of rabies
Once rabies enters an animal’s bloodstream, the infected animal may start to show the following symptoms:
- Uncharacteristic aggression
- Excessive drooling
- Staggered gait
- Trouble swallowing
The infected animal usually dies within 7 days once it starts showing signs of the disease. If you see your pet exhibiting any of the symptoms following an exposure with a possible rabid animal, seek veterinary care immediately.
How to protect yourself and your pets from rabies
Thankfully, rabies is a vaccine-preventable disease. As per the Republic Act 9482 (Anti-Rabies Act of 2007), the Philippine law mandates all dog owners to have their dogs regularly vaccinated against rabies (once a year starting from three months of age) and maintain a registration card which accurately records all vaccinations done on their dog. Pet owners who refuse to comply with this law are subject to proper sanctions.
Remember that updated vaccinations are part of responsible pet ownership! The most effective way to prevent your dear doggos and cattos from contracting rabies is to stay on top of the recommended frequency of vaccinations to make sure that they are protected for their entire life.
Aside from vaccinations, here are additional steps you can take to prevent rabies from your pets:
- Keep your pets indoors. Don’t let your doggos roam around freely outdoors without proper supervision to reduce their risk of encountering infected animals
- If you let your cats outdoors, consider spaying or neutering them to reduce their desire and tendency to roam
- Prevent wildlife from entering your house. Keep your windows sealed and cover small openings to prevent bats from entering.
- Do not touch an injured or dead stray animal with your bare hands. Contact your local officials or animal control to request assistance and ensure proper handling.
- Do not touch any stray animal that’s displaying unnatural behavior.
- Do not keep wild animals as pets. Exotic animals such as snakes, tortoises, iguanas, guinea pigs, and even hamsters often cannot be vaccinated against rabies.
While rabies is nearly 100% fatal, it is also 100% preventable. Be a responsible floof parent and follow these guidelines to ensure protection for yourself and your dear doggos! Live the best life together with all your floof babies and don’t forget to provide them proper nourishment with Maxime Dog Food.
Rabies Facts Prevention Tips, AmericanHumane.org
Rabies Facts, Prevention and Actions to Take if You’re Bitten, CountrySideVeterinaryClinic.com
Rabies: Symptoms and Causes, MayoClinic.org
Rabies Prevention and Control Program, DOH.gov.ph