Vaccinations are a critical part of preventive care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper and Lyme disease (May is Lyme disease awareness month and we’ll have a full story about it tomorrow). Each dog and cat is different, so our veterinarians develop custom vaccinations plans for each pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered.
For more information about our vaccines, go to http://bernvillevet.com/wellness/vaccinations or call to schedule an appointment 610.488.0166
Pennsylvania’s rabies statistics are now available. During 2011, 450 animals tested positive for rabies in the Commonwealth. Berks County reported four cats, three raccoons, three skunks and one fox with rabies.
National rabies statistics for 2010 were reported this fall. Once again, Pennsylvania led the country in the number of rabid cats (56). We came in fifth in the overall number of rabid animals with 394, after Texas (774), Virginia (591), New York (496) and North Carolina (411).
We worry about rabies not just because the disease is deadly to our pets, but because it can kill humans. In 2010, two men died of bat rabies in the United States. Since 2001, 29 human cases have been reported in this country.
What’s the take-home message? Be sure rabies vaccinations are current for all your pets, including cats that live strictly indoors, and that you have their rabies certificates. If you have any questions about whether your pet is overdue, give us a call at 610-488-0166.
- Dr. Lee
Remember Old Yeller? I remember crying like a baby when I saw it. And that was last week.
Well that story has hit home for local families over the years since we started our clinic. A barn cat located between Bernville and Strausstown bit two family members. A year ago a stray cat bit my friend’s dog. A couple months ago a stray cat he was feeding on his porch bit one of our clients. The scary thing is that when we submitted these cats for testing they tested positive for Rabies. There were many other exposures of people and pets over the years to various positive animals. So far in 2011 cats have been the most common tested rabid critters with skunks, raccoons, & foxes rounding out the list. My Cletus was trying to play with a skunk on our early morning walk a couple weeks ago.
Scientists are making some strides in the extremely difficult task of eradicating the disease in wildlife but exposure to domestic animals is something that is much easier to avoid. Vaccination is the key to eliminate the risk for most humans. Vaccinations are available for dogs, cats, livestock & some exotic pets. We do not recommend that anyone (who is not a rehabilitator) own any wildlife pets.
Pennsylvania state law requires all dogs and cats over 12 weeks to be vaccinated for Rabies. The first vaccine a pet receives, or a vaccine given at less than a year of age, must be boosted in 1 year. After that, boosters are determined by the license of the vaccine.
Remember that Rabies can look like anything, not just the classic mad foaming at the mouth. The animal may also be dull and docile or exhibit a wide range of neurologic signs. Therefore, always avoid close contact with wildlife and be wary of unknown domestic animals especially if acting abnormal. Also make sure your pets are kept up to date with their vaccinations and strays are examined and vaccinated as soon as possible. Don’t let this deadly disease or state mandated quarantines or fines be part of your life.
- Dr. Stephan