Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate.
In recognition of World Rabies Day, I thought I might remind all of us about the importance of vaccinating our pets to protect them from this always fatal disease.
Rabies is a viral infection that has an affinity for neurological tissue, especially the brain. It is found to infect mammals in the wild and can be transmitted to humans as well. It causes anxiety, convulsions, fear of light and water (hydrophobia) and other abnormal behaviors. The virus will make its way to the salivary glands quickly after infection. This is why the normal way that rabies is contracted is through an animal bite and exposure to infected saliva. The virus can be transmitted through any break in the skin by contact with infected tissue. This could include scratches or other wounds contacting saliva or infected tissue.
How painful is an ear ache? Ever had one? How about a broken bone or even a deep bruise? We're all used to managing our own pain levels and the number of products to help us do so is almost limitless. There are so many available over the counter in this day that it can really be difficult to decide what to use and when! America doesn't "do pain," a fact that makes the pain reliever market an incredible one!
When I began practice in 1985 there were very few products available with a veterinary label to manage our pet's pain. Honestly, it was not a subject that received an inordinate amount of emphasis in veterinary curricula. With the development of products like carprofen (Rimadyl) in the late 80's, however, there began to be a new interest in understanding and measuring the level of pain our pets experience. With this interest, a whole new emphasis on pain awareness in veterinary practice began to develop and we, along with our pets, are the beneficiaries.
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