How Do Dogs and Cats Develop Rabies?
Your pet acquires rabies through contact with the saliva of an infected animal. When domesticated pets get the disease, it is typically due to being bitten by a bat, coyote, fox, raccoon, or skunk. Dogs and cats who live near wooded areas or who are allowed to roam outdoors without supervision are at the highest risk of being bitten by an infected wild animal. Keeping up-to-date on your pet’s vaccine schedule and limiting unsupervised time outdoors are the best ways to lower the risk of acquiring rabies.
Common Symptoms of Rabies
Most dogs and cats display the first symptoms of rabies two to eight weeks after contact with an infected wild animal. These include:
Foaming at the mouth
Jaw and throat paralysis
Increased biting, chewing, or licking of the skin
Pain when someone touches them
Prevention: Because Rabies Has No Cure or Treatment
If we confirm rabies in your pet, he or she should be euthanized as soon as possible. This not only prevents needless suffering, it also protects other people and pets from getting the disease. You also need to contact the Burnett County Health Department to report the rabies diagnosis.
Wisconsin state law requires that all pets be fully immunized against rabies. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we give the first round of vaccinations at four months of age for puppies and kittens. The cost is just $19. We also provide boosters and can get your pet caught up on the rabies vaccination if necessary. Our veterinarians have had two bats test positive for rabies within the past few years, so the danger is ever present.
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