Safe Family: Rabies

By: Josh Stevenson Email
By: Josh Stevenson Email

In today’s Safe Family report, Josh Stevenson looks at what you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your pets, against rabies.

By definition, the word “rabies” means madness, rage, or fury. It is also know as hydrophobia.

Rabies can be a serious health threat to your pet.

Dr. David Tidwell at Texoma Veterinary Hospital says, "Rabies is a virus that causes neurological disease and is nearly always fatal."

Rabies is spread by the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite.

"The most common transmitter in our area is definitely going to be skunks," Dr. Tidwell says.

You can limit your pet’s exposure to skunks and other potential carriers of this deadly disease by putting up a fence and making sure there are not any readily available sources of food, like left-out dog food or open trash cans, and by making sure your pet is up to date on all its shots.

"The way to protect our pets is to get them vaccinated and make sure those vaccines are kept current," Dr. Tidwell says.

But rabies is not just a danger for your pets- people can also be at risk.

"Try to limit exposure to wild animals where we don’t know their vaccine status."

If you do not know the animal, you do not know if it has been vaccinated or whether or not it has rabies. Any dog can be dangerous.

"If you’re getting a stray off the side of the road, a lot of times that animal will bite even if it’s not vicious, just out of being hurt for protection."

For more on how you can protect yourself and your pet against rabies, check:

http://www.cdc.gov/RABIES/

http://www.healthscout.com/ency/68/738/main.html

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