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Posted by: CudasMom in The Dog Blog

Like many of us dog lovers, I work in the animal field.  Recently, locally a owned dog that had been under a 6mth quarantine for having a fight with a potential rabies suspect was released back to his owners.  The dog was not current on his rabies vaccinations at the time of contact with a raccoon. The raccoon could not be tested and and here in North Carolina that means he had to go into this 6mth quarantine. The only way to test for rabies is to examine the brain of the animal and of course, that means death for either the pet or the suspected animal.

Had the dog been current, a simple rabies vaccination booster would have been all that was needed to keep the dog home and safe.  This dog was very lucky because his owners somehow afforded the costs of boarding a dog for six months.  Many owners cannot and the only other option is euthanasia.  Rabies is a fatal virus that causes a painful death in both animals and humans.

All dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated for rabies here in North Carolina.  There are several inexpensive options for that including low cost rabies clinics offered in your area.  I was asked if shots are needed for indoor pets including pocket pups that go potty on newspapers, cats and of course, ferrets.  The answer is a loud "Yes".  Not only is it the law, your inside animal could still be exposed to the rabies virus should an infected bat get into the house or if your pet accidentally gets out and scuffles with a potentially infected animals.

Soooo, having said that, vaccinate all pets in your house for rabies.  The first rabies shot is good for one year from the day of the vaccination, although some consider the vaccination expired the day before.  The following vaccination is normally a three year although some clinics only offer a routine one year.  There is never a guarantee that any vaccination is 100% effective, however there is a guarantee that a rabid animal will die.  Even humans must undergo a series of painful injections if exposed to a potentially rabid animal and the window of opportunity for that is very short.

Should you have any doubts, Google "rabies virus" and see how horrible this virus is once contracted.  I bet you'll change your mind!

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