Rabies? Really? It may seem tempting to skip this vaccination for your pet when it comes due, but there are several very good reasons you shouldn’t. Think of the following before bailing on your pet’s next appointment:
- Rabies is a risk to you and others. People can become infected and die from this disease. Symptoms can take a long time to develop (think months) and are vague at first. By the time tell-tale symptoms begin, the person often does not survive. It is not worth putting your family at risk over a simple vaccine.
- Rabies really happens. Exposure to rabid dogs accounts for 90% of the human exposures and 99% of human deaths worldwide. In 2010, the CDC reported 6,153 cases of rabies in animals in the United States.
- Not being vaccinated has real implications for your pet. Unvaccinated pets are subject to fines and quarantines should they become involved in any type of incident. Depending on the state, your pet could be mandated to be quarantined away from home for up to 6 months or even be euthanized in certain situations.
- Even indoor pets are at risk. If your cat never ventures out, it may seem silly to vaccinate them, but you never know when a door could be left open or a bat might sneak into the house. Also, if your unvaccinated animal happens to bite (or is accused of biting) someone visiting your home, it is subject to the same fines and quarantine guidelines as any other pet.
Ultimately, your pet’s rabies vaccination is a simple form of preventive insurance against a potentially lethal disease.