This is why the rabies vaccination is so important.
What is the Rabies Vaccination?
Rabies is a viral disease that is 100% fatal once symptoms begin to show. The rabies vaccination, however, provides protection against the virus even when a dog is exposed to it.
The vaccination is made from the dead rabies virus. Injecting the dead virus prompts the development of antibodies. This means that if your dog is exposed to rabies, they will have the antibodies needed to fight the virus off.
Veterinarians recommend giving the rabies vaccination once every three years to maintain a healthy level of antibodies.
Why Do City Dogs Need the Rabies Vaccination?
Rabies can be carried by any warm-blooded mammal, but it is found more commonly in certain animals. In North America, these animals include foxes, coyotes, raccoons, bats, and skunks. While these animals are seen most often in the country, they are also found in urban areas. Foxes and coyotes, in particular, are known to navigate city trash dumpsters.
If an unvaccinated dog is exposed to the saliva of an infected animal, they may or may not contract rabies. Once exposed, a dog must be quarantined and observed by city authorities. If during this time, symptoms begin to develop, then it is almost guaranteed that a dog will succumb to the disease.
Now, the chances of encountering a rabid coyote by your apartment dumpster are slim, but it is possible. Plus, with the rabies vaccine being proven to be safe, there is no reason why every pet should not be vaccinated for protection.
There is one more reason why every pet should be vaccinated against rabies – the law.
The rabies vaccination is required by law for all healthy dogs. This is because a dog that is infected with the rabies virus poses a threat to the general public. Humans can contract the virus from any infected animal and rabies can be fatal to humans.
When Can a Dog Miss a Rabies Vaccination
There are times when a dog can forego the rabies vaccination. Most often this happens when a dog is suffering from a severe health crisis such as cancer.
In this situation, vaccination could tax the immune system to the point of fatality, so it is best to avoid vaccination until the dog is more stable. When this is the case, a veterinarian must provide a written letter explaining the lack of a current rabies vaccination.
It is important to know, however, that this situation does not excuse all future rabies vaccinations. A letter of excusal is only applicable to an immediate threat to a pet’s well-being.