Rabies Awareness Alert!
Some people think that Rabies is an archaic disease that doesn't affect us or our pets anymore, but that couldn't be farther than the truth. While we have made advancements, Rabies is still a very serious problem in our country and around the entire world. Protect your furry loved ones and the humans in your life by learning more with this Rabies Awareness Alert!
Rabies exists in six out of the seven continents (excluding Antarctica). For humans, the disease kills tens of thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths occur in third world countries. In the United States, cases are reported in humans every year. When it comes to dogs, the numbers are significantly higher. In the United States, 5,865 incidents in animals were reported in 2013. Mammals and other warm-blooded animals are the most likely to contract the disease. As many as 4 incidents in 2018 have been reported in the Florida alone.
Symptoms of Rabies
It's important to know the symptoms of rabies so that you know if you have anything to be worried about. There are two types of rabies: paralytic and furious. After the first couple of days of mild symptoms, the dog will start to demonstrate either paralytic or furious symptoms. Paralytic symptoms include lethargy and the inability to walk properly. Finally, they will fall into paralysis. Furious symptoms are even more scary. It is mostly defined by wildly aggressive behavior and attacking. After the initial symptoms but before death, most animals will start to shed the disease through their saliva and other bodily functions. This is known as the incubation period and usually occurs in between three to eight weeks. Death will come shortly after (usually only days).
If you are worried about you or one of your human loved ones, the first signs of rabies are flu-like in nature. After some time, you might start to notice that the affected mental facilities aren't work as normal, they are confused, and agitated. There will be a rapid dissent that includes hallucinations and extremely odd behavior. Unfortunately, almost every case results in an excruciating death.
Dogs and humans alike contract the virus when bitten by another animal that has the virus. Therefore, any pet or human bitten by a wild animal should go to the doctor immediately. The virus works very quickly, so if you want any chance of you or your pet surviving, you need to get to the doctor as soon as possible. The pet will be put under an observation for ten days. In this time, the vet will examine the pet to determine if they show any signs of Rabies. If your dog is already extremely aggressive, call animal control to avoid getting scratched or bit yourself. While it does occur because of a bite from a wild animal, human cases more often develop as the result of contact with a loving pet. In fact, 99% of human deaths worldwide come from a dog. However, in the United States, bats cause the most deaths because the size of the bite can be so small that it goes unnoticed until it's too late.
Broward county law
Because this is such a dangerous disease, most places have strict laws about getting pets a mandatory vaccination. The mandatory vaccination helps with rabies control. Broward county in Florida is no exception! All pets must receive a Rabies Registration Tag. To get this tag, the pet must get a Rabies shot. The shot doesn't last forever, though. The first shot will only last a year. After that, your vet will decide whether your pet will receive another year long shot or a three year long shot. It's important to get this shot renewed on time to keep your pet and your family safe. If you aren't sure when your pet's next vaccination is due, call your veterinarian to find out.
While not required by law, it's important to note that there are now vaccinations for people who are at high risk for getting Rabies (such as people who work in animal control). Of course, anyone can get the vaccination, even if they don't work with animals regularly.
Rabies awareness is important to keep the numbers down for this horrible disease. It is an aggressive disease that causes a very painful and scary death for both animals and humans. The more people take action to protect themselves and their families, the better off we are.