Client Handout: Rabies: Know the facts


Unless we regularly communicate that rabies is a real and serious threat, the disease can easily become the 'boogeyman' of veterinary medicine--a mythical threat used to force pets to get more shots.

Many operate under the mistaken assumption that rabies is a disease of the past-that the vaccine really only gets administered because it's required by the county.

Try telling that to the family in Missouri whose 8-week-old puppy was infected with rabies earlier this year by its mother after she killed a rabid skunk. The puppy died and its mother was euthanized. The other five puppies in the litter and two other dogs that had had direct contact with the puppies were also euthanized, and 32 adults and children underwent post-exposure prophylactic shots.

Rabies doesn't just affect animals. It kills tens of thousands of people every year-mostly in Asia and Africa. While it can be tempting to label these continents as far-away places that have little effect on our lives, the pervasiveness of international travel could easily bring infected persons into the United States.

Rabies remains a real and serious threat. Help your clients better understand the signs and symptoms of rabies, its different forms, how it's diagnosed and how it's prevented with this handout. Click on the image to download.


Julie Carlson is a freelance author and a Certified Veterinary Technician.  She is the winner of the 2015 Hero Veterinary Technician Award from the American Humane Association and the Founder of Vets for Vets' Pets, a nonprofit organization providing medical care to the pets of homeless and at-risk veterans.  Julie has 5 cats, 2 Chihuahuas, 1 fish, and lives in Phoenix, AZ.

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