Rabies is a disease that is a concern for pet owners and anyone who comes into contact with wildlife. It can cause erratic and sometimes aggressive behavior and can be fatal if not treated quickly. Here are some facts you need to know to protect yourself and your pet.
The most common sign of rabies is unusual behavior. An animal with rabies may appear “drunk.” It may stumble around, be uncoordinated, and display other strange behavior. A rabid animal may become aggressive and attack people or animals, but this usually does not happen. If you see an animal displaying unusual or aggressive behavior, stay away from it and call your local animal control department.
Foaming at the mouth is one symptom of rabies, but it could have other causes as well. An animal that has contracted rabies will not necessarily foam at the mouth. If you see an animal foaming at the mouth, it is best to stay away from it and call animal control.
Rabies is transferred by an exchange of bodily fluid, most commonly through a bite. It can also occur if saliva from an infected animal gets into another animal’s or a human’s open wound or eye. The most common way that people contract rabies is by being bitten by a bat. If a bat bites you while you are sleeping, you might not even be aware of it.
The best way to protect your pet from rabies is to get it vaccinated. Be sure to keep the vaccination up to date. You can get your pet vaccinated at your veterinarian’s office or at a clinic in your community. Many towns offer free rabies clinics to residents.
Rabies cases are often cyclical. There tend to be more confirmed cases of rabies during the warmer months because animals are out and about more.