These rabies-free countries have relied on strict quarantine laws to keep the disease out, and particularly to stop the virus from getting into the wildlife of those countries. Great Britain and some other rabies-free countries have recently changed their quarantine regulations for fully vaccinated and microchip identifiable cats and dogs that meet certain conditions.
Rabies virus does not survive long outside a mammal’s body. Since the virus can be shed in the saliva of infected animals, the virus is usually transmitted when the saliva of an infected animal is introduced beneath the skin of a bite wound. In North America the skunk, raccoon, fox, and bat are important reservoirs for the virus, whereas in Europe, foxes are the main source of infection for people and other animals. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America the main reservoir is not wildlife, but stray, free-roaming dogs. In these areas, human infection is more common.
More than 250 cats are reported to have rabies every year in the United States. While this may seem like a small amount when compared to the total cat population, which numbers in the tens of millions, it’s not insignificant. That’s because rabies is the deadliest infectious disease in the world. Once the signs of infection appear, there is no treatment. Moreover, the rabies virus is zoonotic, meaning it can be passed from animals to people. And it’s just as deadly in humans as it is in cats. There isn’t a cure for rabies in cats, but there is a widely available and highly effective tool at your disposal that can protect your beloved pet: the rabies vaccine.
Features of Feline Rabies Vaccine
Rabies cannot be cured, but it can be prevented. And protecting cats from rabies isn’t just a matter of pet health. Because the disease can pass from cats to people, there are huge implications for human health, too. That’s why Whittemore considers the rabies vaccine to be the most important vaccination a cat can receive. Every year, the rabies virus kills nearly 60,000 people around the world, and most of its victims are children. The disease is only rare in the United States thanks to the prevalence of vaccinated pets, says Whittemore. When you vaccinate your cat, you are part of a global initiative to reduce the number of rabies deaths to zero.
Luke Gamble, BVetMed, plays a part in this initiative as well. As the founder and CEO of Mission Rabies, a nonprofit that runs vaccination and education programs in rabies hotspots like India and Malawi, he’s seen the suffering that rabies can cause firsthand and describes the vaccine as the safest and most effective way to protect both pets and people. “By keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, you can help prevent them from acquiring the disease from wildlife or other unvaccinated pets, and in so doing, prevent possible transmission to your family or other people,” says Gamble. “Even in the U.S. where human rabies cases are rare, we must all take action to prevent disease outbreaks. It’s also important to note that if your cat has never been vaccinated and is suspected to have come in contact with rabies, the CDC recommends immediate euthanasia. The only other option is to place the cat in strict quarantine with no direct human or animal contact for four months, but it is unlikely the cat will recover.
Dosage and administration
- Subcutaneous 1 mL injection for cats
- Subcutaneous or intramuscular 1 mL injection for dogs
- Subcutaneous 1 mL injection for ferrets
- Annual revaccination with 1 dose is recommended
- Available in a 5 x 10 mL presentation
Vaccination of dogs, ferrets, and livestock can be started at no sooner than three months of age. Some cat vaccines can be given as early as two months of age. Regardless of the age of the animal at initial vaccination, a booster vaccination should be administered one year later.
This product has been shown to be effective for the vaccination of healthy dogs, cats and ferrets 12 weeks of age or older against rabies. Duration of immunity of at least 1 year has been demonstrated after repeat dose
Prices of Feline Rabies Vaccine