Anasazi Animal Clinic is a Gilbert pet clinic committed to the health and safety of our entire community—whether the community members have two legs or four. For that reason, we recommend every dog owner has their pet vaccinated for rabies. In addition to ensuring the lifelong health of your pet and family members, rabies vaccinations are required by Maricopa County when licensing your dog in Gilbert. Since September 28th is World Rabies Day, we thought we’d share a few facts you may or may not know about this deadly disease.

  1. If your dog is properly vaccinated he CANNOT contract rabies. Once your dog is first vaccinated around the 12-week-old mark, it is immune to rabies, if it continues to receive its scheduled rabies boosters throughout its lifetime.
  2. Rabies cannot officially be diagnosed until an autopsy is done on a deceased animal. There are many symptoms that might suggest an animal is rabid, but a diagnosis cannot be confirmed on a living animal.
  3. There is NO treatment for an unvaccinated animal. Since rabies presents such a severe threat to other animals and humans, if your unvaccinated pet is bitten by a wild animal or bites another person, it will most likely be necessary to euthanize them.
  4. Side effects are RARE for the rabies vaccination. The rabies vaccination is a killed vaccine, meaning, it contains no live virus strains. While there’s a very small chance your pup could have an adverse reaction to his inoculation, the benefits far outweigh the risks. And vaccination is the law!
  5. In 2016, approximately 4,900 animals (wild and domestic) were reported to be rabid in the U.S. This may seem like a high number, but it’s small compared to the worldwide number. And the number of American cases is decreasing every year, with the majority of these cases occurring on the East Coast and in Texas.
  6. While only 1 to 3 people contract rabies annually in the U.S., the virus is still a major worldwide concern. It’s estimated that close to 59,000 people die each year from rabies, primarily in developing nations. Of the human rabies cases reported in the States, the majority were contracted in other countries. Rabies is truly a worldwide epidemic.

Rabies is an entirely preventable disease, and with awareness, the number of infected people and animals is decreasing every year. As a responsible Gilbert pet clinic, Anasazi Animal Clinic tries to do its part in educating the public. So we’re reminding you to please be sure to schedule your pets for their vaccination shots and/or their follow-up shots, and help make the world a safer, healthier place!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/21/2018) Jonas Lowgren (Flickr)