Everything You Need to Know About Rabies Vaccination for Your Dogs
by Surya Gopal
We all want the best for our dogs, especially when it comes to keeping them healthy and happy. And to do so, it is essential to keep an eye on their growth and health from the very beginning. There aren’t many topics more prominent than vaccinating your dogs. But with so many vaccines, comes a lot of confusion and misinformation as well. However, it is important for you to know about which vaccines are important for your dogs and the right schedule to give them.
Anti-rabies is a core vaccine for every dog based on their risk of exposure, the severity of suffering from disease, and transmissibility to humans
Timeline for Anti-Rabies Vaccine
The first anti-rabies vaccination is given when the puppy is 3 months old, followed by a second dose of vaccine after 1 year. Then a single dose of anti-rabies boosters annually or every 3 years is required (this can slightly vary depending on the place).
You can also find the full list of all the vaccinations and schedule here.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease often transmitted through the bite or scratch of a rabid animal. Since dogs suffering from rabies secrete large amounts of virus in their saliva, the disease is primarily passed on to other dogs through a bite from an infected animal. The rabies virus infects a dog’s brain and central nervous system and may cause death.
The reason for rabies vaccination being a core vaccination for your dogs is that - rabies is an infectious disease and it can be transmitted easily from one dog to another. Thus, rabies shots and boosters are essential to be given to every dog on time, to save them from catching these infections in the future.
How Can Rabies be Prevented?
Rabies is a viral infection and can be easily transmitted to other dogs and humans as well. People usually get rabies from the bite or scratch of a rabid animal. Other modes of rabies transmission from animals to humans can be- inhalation of aerosolized rabies virus (people in laboratories are at more risk) or when the saliva of infected dog comes in contact with human mucosa or fresh skin wounds. In up to 99% of cases, rabies is transmitted from dogs to owners.
The best treatment is prevention. Vaccination is an easy way of giving your dogs a healthy and safe life. Keeping your pups vaccinated is an essential measure to help them fight with all kinds of infections. To prevent rabies, check with your vet, and provide timely vaccines to your pooch. Also, avoid your pet from contacting wild or stray animals and do not leave your dogs unattended outside.
We know that “prevention is better than cure”. And rabies is preventable if you follow the recommended schedules of vaccination. But if a dog suffers from the disease, there is no cure for it. Once the clinical symptoms appear, rabies is 100% fatal and can lead to death in a few days. Dogs who are suspected of having the virus are often kept in isolation and prevented from escaping or getting in contact with someone.
Anti-rabies vaccines have saved the lives of many dogs and the same goes for your pets too. If you give your dogs the required vaccines, they can fight the disease because unvaccinated dogs are at more risk of catching the infections.
Symptoms of Rabies:
Initially, dogs who are infected may show extreme behavioural changes like- restlessness compounded by aggression, constant licking, biting, and chewing at the site they are bitten, and irritation in nature.
Besides this, few telltale symptoms include-
- Excessive Drooling
- Sensitivity leading to seizures
- Disorientation or unsteadiness
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic behaviour
As the virus progresses, an infected dog may become tender to light, touch, and sound. Paralysis of throat and jaw muscles may follow, resulting in foaming at the mouth. The infection may further lead to a dog’s death.
Anti-Rabies Vaccine in India (Age and Cost)
Vaccines help to prepare your dog’s immune system to defend them from any invasion of disease-causing germs. Vaccines contain antigens, which mimic these germs and mildly stimulate the immune system to recognize the diseases in the future.
The first anti-rabies vaccination is given when the puppy is 3 months old, followed by a second dose of vaccine after 1 year. Then a single dose of anti-rabies boosters annually or every 3 years is required (depending on the place).
A three-dose anti-rabies vaccine course costs about Rs. 100. The cost may vary from place to place.
The dogs after vaccination might suffer from mild symptoms like- fever, loss of appetite, sluggishness, vomiting, and diarrhoea, which get normal with time.
Rabies is a fatal disease and the only way to deal with it is anti-rabies vaccination, given to dogs on a proper schedule. Do not miss your pooch’s vaccination and this way, you can prepare their body to fight all infections. A healthy pooch lives a longer and happier life.
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