Rabies Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there a cure for Rabies?
Unfortunately, once clinical signs of rabies appear, Rabies is untreatable and fatal. The best source of control of this disease is by preventing it.
What can I do to prevent my pet or me from getting Rabies?
To prevent rabies, there are five things that you can do:
How often should I vaccinate my pet for Rabies, and with what kind of vaccine?
There are 3 types of vaccines (modified-live virus, recombinant, and inactivated) that have all been proven effective in preventing rabies. It is recommended that your pet should first be vaccinated once a year for 2 years, and after that at least every 3 years. There are vaccines available for dogs, ferrets, horses, cattle, and sheep. Oral (edible) vaccines for wildlife are also being used in Canada.
What happens to animals that get bitten by an animal with Rabies?
If your pet had been vaccinated for Rabies before being bitten, then you should revaccinate your pet again as soon as possible, and watch him for signs of Rabies for the next 45 days.
If a pet is bitten by a rabid animal, then that animal has been exposed to Rabies. Since there is no cure for Rabies and people can get it, it is recommended that the pet be euthanized. However, if your pet is kept in strict isolation (away from people and other animals) for 6 months and is vaccinated one month before release without showing any signs of Rabies, then the risk of your pet being infected is very low.
What happens if a person gets bitten by an animal that might have Rabies?
If a person is exposed to rabies, the risk of that person becoming infected should be taken into consideration. For example the species of animal involved, how much rabies there is in the area, and how the animal contacted the person (bite, lick, touch, etc) are all important factors in rabies transmission. The person should be closely monitored for 10 days and the animal in question should immediately be tested for rabies. If the person does become infected with rabies, only supportive care can be given as there is no cure. It is recommended that people at high-risk to becoming exposed to rabies be vaccinated. These are people such as veterinary staff, animal control officers, rabies and diagnostic laboratory workers, and travelers working in countries in which canine rabies very prevalent.