If you or your pet have been bitten by an animal suspected of having rabies, or any animal of unknown vaccination status, it is vital to seek medical attention right away.
Philadelphia, Pa. (PRWEB) September 23, 2013
Rabies reports on the evening news seem to spike in early autumn, and this year is no exception. Across the country, rabid foxes, skunks, raccoons, bats, coyote and even beavers have been reported, making World Rabies Day, Sept. 28, the purr-fect time to ensure furry family members are up-to-date on rabies vaccines. Petplan pet insurance reminds pet parents that a quick trip to the veterinarian’s office can be enough to ensure pets stay healthy and protected from this disease, which poses dangers for pets and pet parents alike.
Rabies is transmitted through contact with an infected animal’s saliva, most often from a bite, and travels through the nerves to the brain. The incubation period varies from one week to one year, though most cases reach the brain between one and three months after a bite. Once symptoms begin to occur, the disease is fatal, usually within seven to 10 days.
“If you or your pet have been bitten by an animal suspected of having rabies, or any animal of unknown vaccination status, it is vital to seek medical attention right away,” says Dr. Jules Benson, V.P. of Veterinary Services for Petplan. “If your pet was bitten, schedule an appointment with your vet so that he or she can make sure your pet’s rabies vaccine is up to date, and go over the rabies exposure protocol in your state. If you were bitten, immediately wash the wound well with soap and call your physician to discuss getting the post-exposure vaccine.”
The bad news is that rabies can be deadly, but the great news is it is also very preventable! To help keep two- and four-legged family members safe and healthy, Petplan offers the following tips:
- Vaccination Nation: When it comes to vaccines, this is one you should not skip (not to mention that most municipalities require it). Rabies vaccines are given along with the final round of puppy and kitten vaccines, and pets receive boosters a year after the first dose. After that, dogs generally receive the vaccine every three years, and cats get boosted every one to three years, depending on the kind of vaccine your veterinarian uses.
- Batten Down the Hatches: Think indoor-only pets don’t need to be vaccinated? Think again. There are plenty of instances of rabid wildlife making their way indoors and exposing pets (and pet parents!) to disease. Be sure windows and doors have screens that are free of holes, and check your basement and attic spaces to be sure they are secure against furry intruders.
- Where the Wild Things Are: Avoiding wild animals like raccoons, skunks and bats can help prevent exposure to the rabies disease. Check your yard for any unwelcome furry visitors before letting dogs out, especially at night. Rabid animals may display very odd behavior and seem to be “looking for a fight,” but some, like foxes, may never get to that true “rabid” phase. To be safe, never, ever approach a wild animal, bizarre behavior or not. If you notice strange activity, contact your local animal control immediately and keep your pets safely indoors.
For more tips on keeping pets protected all year round, visit http://www.GoPetplan.com.
Petplan is the only pet insurance company to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America. In February 2013, Petplan pet insurance was at No. 34 on Forbes annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance policies provide coverage for all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet as standard, and meet the coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age. Petplan pet insurance policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2012). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit http://www.GoPetplan.com, read the Petplan “Vets for Pets” Blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.