Are Dogs and Cats Able to Contract Rabies?
World Rabies Day takes place every year on September 28th with the aim of increasing awareness about a deadly disease that continues to cause fatalities among both humans and animals worldwide. Rabies is a viral illness that impacts the brains and nervous systems of mammals. It is considered a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted through saliva or bite wounds, making both domestic and wild animals, such as dogs and cats, susceptible to infection. This blog will delve into the possibility of dogs and cats contracting rabies and stress the significance of preventive measures to safeguard them.
Yes, dogs and cats can get rabies. They are the two domestic animals most frequently affected by the virus. While the disease is rare in cats and dogs in the United States, it is still prevalent in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries with limited access to vaccination and animal control programs. The virus is transmitted to pets through the saliva of infected animals, most commonly through bites. Once the virus enters the pet’s body, it spreads rapidly through the nervous system, eventually leading to death.
Signs and Symptoms of Rabies in Dogs and Cats
The signs and symptoms of rabies in dogs and cats are similar to those in humans. In the initial stages of the infection, pets may show mild symptoms such as behavioral changes, fever, and loss of appetite. As the virus progresses, they may develop more severe symptoms such as seizures, aggression, paralysis, and difficulty swallowing. In dogs, the “dumb” form of rabies is more common, in which the animal becomes lazy, weak, and eventually dies. In cats, the “furious” form is more common, in which the animal is hyperactive, aggressive, and disoriented.
Preventing Rabies in Dogs and Cats
The best way to prevent rabies in dogs and cats is vaccination. All cats and dogs should receive a rabies vaccine as part of their routine vaccination schedule. This will offer protection against the virus and reduce the risk of infection in humans. In addition to vaccination, pet owners should take preventive measures such as keeping their pets indoors and avoiding contact with stray or wild animals. If another animal has bitten your pet, seek immediate veterinary care and report the incident to the local animal control authorities.
Rabies is a severe and often fatal disease that affects humans and animals. While the disease is rare in dogs and cats in the United States, pets worldwide continue to die from the virus. Therefore, taking preventive measures to protect your pets from rabies is essential. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the disease, but pet owners should keep their pets away from stray or wild animals. As World Rabies Day approaches, please take action to protect your beloved pets by contacting us to schedule a rabies vaccination. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against rabies!