When it comes to vaccinations, you can’t make assumptions you need to be sure your puppy has been vaccinated before you bring him out into potentially harmful situations. Since your dog depends on you for everything, it’s up to you to make sure he is ready for the outdoors and everything he might encounter including rabies. To protect your dog against the dangerous rabies disease, you should have your pup vaccinated. While it might seem like an inconvenience, it is a necessary one, especially since rabies is mostly preventable if your dog is vaccinated.
Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise, death is highly likely. Most states require regular rabies vaccinations. Check with your vet about rabies vaccination laws and requirements in your area. Of course, your veterinarian should weigh in and can always provide more information and guidance if needed on necessary and optional vaccinations.
Rabies is a dangerous disease that can cause death in both dogs and humans, or any mammals for that matter that have come into contact with an infected source. Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system of mammals and kills around three people and hundreds of dogs and cats each year in the U.S. Worldwide, rabies kills more thousands of humans and millions of animals every year. It has been reported in every state but Hawaii, and in every country in the world, except for Australia and Antarctica.
Rabies Vaccine Schedule for Dogs
The rabies virus poses such a serious threat to pets and people that in most states you’re legally required to vaccinate your dog between 12 and 16 weeks of age, with a booster shot a year later, says Whittemore. You can learn what’s required in your area by visiting with your veterinarian or by contacting your local health department.
Local laws will also determine how often your dog will need a vaccine booster shot. It may be required once a year or once every three years. According to Whittemore, the difference between the 1-year and 3-year vaccines essentially comes down to labeling as the components are the same. If your dog comes into contact with a potentially rabid animal, your veterinarian may give your pet an extra vaccination even if your dog is up to date just to be safe. And while no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the rabies vaccine is extremely successful at protecting dogs against infection.
Side Effects of the Rabies Vaccine in Dogs
As with other vaccines that stimulate an immune response, the rabies vaccine can cause side effects like mild fever and tiredness, says Whittemore. Your dog may also experience soreness at the injection site. Whittemore notes that these side effects typically resolve within one or two days.
Though rare, there’s also a chance your dog could have an allergic reaction to being vaccinated against rabies. Associated side effects include facial swelling, vomiting, and hives. If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction, seek immediate care. And if you’re ever worried or unsure about your dog’s reaction to a vaccine, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian for advice.