World Rabies Day
World rabies day is Wednesday, September 28, 2022. To support this important cause, Riverton Veterinary Clinic will reserve this day solely for discounted vaccines and the associated office visit.
Please call (801-254-6621) and schedule your appointment. September 28 is for vaccines only. We will schedule any medically sick or health concerns another day.
Rabies is due to a virus that affects mammals and is transmitted through the saliva of an infected mammal. In the United States, rabies is transmitted most commonly from wild animals to other animals and humans. Racoons and skunks have been common carriers of the virus but bats have become the number one cause of human rabies. In developing countries, lacking in good vaccination programs, dog bites are still the major cause of human rabies.
If a human is bitten by an infected animal, the virus is transferred through the saliva deep into the wound. There is a latent period, from days to months, where the virus multiplies in the muscle and then enters the nerves where it travels into the central nervous system and causes encephalitis and death.
If a human does not seek medical attention before they develop encephalitis, the rabies infection is 100% fatal. If they are treated immediately after a bite, they can be given a series of vaccines and should live.
When an animal develops rabies, they will die within 10 days of the virus being shed in their saliva. If an animal bites a person, it is often quarantined for 10 days. If it is still alive in the 10 days, it wasn’t shedding the virus in their saliva when it bit the person.
Because we vaccinate our dogs and cats, wildlife is the major cause of human rabies exposure in the United States. The last three human deaths in the United States have been due to bat exposure. Bats have such small teeth that sometimes people don’t even know that they have been bitten and exposed to rabies. So, the Center for Disease Control recommends staying away from bats and securing your homes so that they can’t get in. Don’t keep windows open that don’t have screens, and if you have a bat in your house, try to safely catch it so it can be tested for rabies.
If you get bitten by a dog or cat with unknown vaccine history, or a skunk, racoon or bat, wash the wound thoroughly and then contact animal control and your nearest medical facility for treatment.
Happy Independence and Pioneer Day!! As we celebrate these fun holidays, please keep a couple of things in mind. Fireworks can be horrifying to dogs and cats. They can react to the noise by running away, so make sure and keep them inside, with music or a television playing to mute the noise a little. If you know that they react strongly to the noise, we can prescribe medication that can relieve some of their anxiety if given prior to the noise starting.
Have a wonderful, safe summer. From Jack, our favorite”Doodle-Dandy”.