Veterinary Technician Ilissa Beavers said that her employers conduct the clinic annually. Upon vaccination, pet owners receive a tag that can be traced if a pet is lost and found, and certification for the shot.
Beavers said that at the clinic, a one-year shot costs $9 and is suitable for all pets. A three-year certification costs $13 and is suitable for pets that have been previously vaccinated. All dogs and cats must be over four months of age to be vaccinated.
“First and foremost, it is state law that every pet be vaccinated for rabies whether it is an indoor or outdoor pet,” said Beavers. “It is for the pet’s protection as well as an owner’s. If an indoor cat goes out now and again and is bitten by a raccoon, then an owner may not know that the cat is sick until it is too late.”
Beavers said that rabies is a virus causing neurological damage in mammals. Often carried by bats, raccoons, skunks and coyotes, it may be spread to pets and humans through contact with bodily fluids, though most often saliva through bites. She said that an unvaccinated animal exposed to rabies must be quarantined at home or a clinic for 10 days. If the pet displays symptoms of rabies, it is euthanized. The disease causes aggression in infected animals, making them turn on owners that have long had a loving relationship with the pet. Beavers said that the disease is characterized by “foaming at the mouth.”
“There is an old time saying that rabies causes hydrophobia. A pet will look at water but not drink it,” said Beavers.
Humans exposed to rabies must undergo prophylactic treatments to slowly expose them to a rabies vaccine and immune boosters through a series of injections.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.