SlimDoggy Health Check: Rabies Part 1

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Rabies is a serious and deadly virus that attacks the nervous system of an infected animal causing brain disease and eventually death. Rabies is typically transmitted through a bite from a rabid animal and is most commonly found in raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes. Dogs are a common carrier, but global veterinary management through inoculations has greatly reduced the occurrence of canine to human spread.
French scientists Louis Pasteur and Emile Roux invented the rabies vaccine in 1885. Prior to that, any person or animal who contracted rabies, died. The vaccine works for both infected and non-infected animals, so it can be administered after the bite.
Rabies is zoonotic, meaning it can be passed from canine to humans. Anyone who has seen Old Yeller (and who hasn’t) knows some of the symptoms and the outcome of a rabies bite. Human treatment involves a series of immunizations over the course of 14 days. There are only 10 documented cases of human survival of rabies so prevention and immediate treatment is critical.
We found this great infographic about the disease that I thought we would share. Our next Health Check post will be specifically about rabies and canines.


Additional Readings:

Who Invented the Rabies Vaccine
Mayo Clinic: Rabies
Center for Disease Control: Rabies


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  1. I just had a long discussion of rabies in dogs with my vet as we debated titering vs. vaccinating. She told me that, if a dog comes in contact with a rabid animal, they should be taken to the vet as fast as possible for a rabies booster vaccine – even if you’ve been doing your regular rabies vaccines. Rabies vaccines are only about 90% effective, which is part of the reason for this precaution.

    I had no idea!
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  2. That is an interesting graphic. I did not realize rabies was still so prevalent in other areas of the world.
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  3. Always a frightening thought when I come across a stray dog. Wonderful info-graphic, I shall share so more will be aware.

  4. rabies sadly became a problem again within the last years. they said because of the overpopulation of rabbits we got much more foxes and therefore we even have quarantaine zones again :o( we get our shots and then the titer test (think that’s a rule to have it before you can enter a show).
    My Father had to bear the rabies treatment once many years ago after a badger attacked him. Because they couldn’t find the animal they did it preventive. that was NO fun and the after and sideeffects are super bad. He got jaundice and a chronic liver-damage after the treatment, so rabies is a super serious topic…
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  5. Rabies is scary, that’s what it is. I always feel much better after my pups have been vaccinated. Not that it’s a major issue in our area, but I like to do my part to keep it that way.

  6. Good to know only 5.9% of Fox have rabies since lately we have been stalked by one on our runs and walks. We are vaccinated, but still, Mom is not.
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  7. Those rabies numbers are still shockingly high. Our state requires an annual vaccine but veterinarians are pushing for every two years. Paws crossed.
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  8. I pinned the infographic. What a very scary disease indeed.
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  9. Great graphic. Having worked in the healthcare field at one time, I can honestly say everyone who had to have globulin shots because of an animal bite says the same thing–that is one very painful shot–far worse than most. 🙁

  10. great infographic, thanks for spreading the word about how sever and deadly rabies is.
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