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Vaccinate Your Pets Against Rabies This Spring

April 29, 2014

They’re like a member of your family. You’d do just about anything to protect your dog or cat.

Vaccinating your pet against rabies could save their life, and protect you and your family against this fatal disease.

Rabies is commonly found in raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats, bats, coyotes and other carnivores. And while rabies occurs primarily in wildlife, most humans are given rabies vaccine as a result of exposure to domestic animals.  A typical rabies case involves a rabid animal coming into the yard of a home and fighting with a pet dog or cat. Any animal bitten or scratched by either a wild, carnivorous mammal or a bat that can’t be found for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies. The consequences to your favorite four-legged friend are dire. They should be euthanized immediately or put in strict quarantine for six months, with no human contact.

And if you live in Georgia, it’s not just a good idea to have your pets vaccinated – it’s the law (Rabies Control Law-O.C.G.A-31-19).

Spring is a good time of year to get your dogs and cats vaccinated. You can usually find rabies vaccination clinics on Saturdays during April, May or June. Rabies vaccinations are offered at a significant discount and other kinds of pet vaccinations can normally be obtained at the same time. Check with your local environmental health office, veterinary clinic or other sponsoring organization for specific dates, times and locations.

Veterinarians are always available to vaccinate your animals any time of the year. Valuable livestock such as cows, horses, sheep and exotics such as llamas or alpacas should also be vaccinated against rabies.

Do the right thing for your pets and your family by having your dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies this spring.  

If you think you, your pets or livestock may have been exposed to rabies, you can get information and guidance from your county health department, veterinarian, county animal control or the Georgia Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Additional information on rabies exposure can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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