World Rabies Day is a national health observance, which started in 2007. International health organizations such as the USDA, WHO, and the CDC spread awareness about the dangers of rabies and guidelines on preventing rabies each year on September 28th. As a responsible pet owner, you can also raise awareness and educate yourself about this preventable yet often too fatal viral disease. We encourage you to learn more information. Here is what you should know.
We define rabies as a zoonotic viral disease that attacks the central nervous system. This means that rabies can spread from an infected animal to a person. It is also fatal, and once developed, there is no effective treatment. The transmission of rabies occurs through direct contact with saliva or brain or nervous system tissue with an infected animal. In other words, if an infected animal bites through the skin, rabies develops.
The Good News: Rabies is Preventable!
If rabies develops, it causes fits, paralysis, and ultimately death. However, prevention is possible through vaccinations, not allowing your pets to roam outdoors unsupervised, keeping your pets away from stray animals, and refraining from keeping wild animals as pets.
Once again, once rabies develops, there isn’t an effective treatment. This is why immediate medical attention is imperative there’s any chance you’ve been exposed. You’ll need care known as rabies postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), which includes:
- Human rabies immune globulin (HRIG): This is administered at the location of the injury and will provide immediate antibodies to allow the body time to respond to the vaccine by making its own antibodies. This needs to be given the same day as the exposure.
- 4 Vaccines Over 14 Days: The injection site is in the arm, and these injections will help your body fight and identify rabies.
More Facts About World Rabies Day, and Rabies, in General
- World Rabies Day is on September 28th because it marks the anniversary of French biologist, microbiologist, and chemist Louis Pastuer’s passing. He developed the first rabies vaccine and is a pioneer regarding the prevention of rabies.
- Dogs are the leading cause of human rabies death, so we stress that vaccines are essential.
- WHO leads “United Against Rabies,” a collective striving to have zero human dog-mediated human deaths by 2030.
Thank you for learning about World Rabies Day. All it takes is an annual visit to MCAH to ensure that your canine companion and feline friend are healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!