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Rabies Vaccine

While we share information about rabies, vaccines and dogs & cats, below is some helpful information from the CDC about rabies and humans

What is rabies?

Rabies is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus. Rabies is mainly a disease of animals. Humans get rabies when they are bitten by infected animals.

At first there might not be any symptoms. But weeks, or even months after a bite, rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, fever, and irritability. These are followed by seizures, hallucinations, and paralysis. Human rabies is almost always fatal.

Wild animals – especially bats – are the most common source of human rabies infection in the United States. Skunks, raccoons, dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes and other mammals can also transmit the disease.

Human rabies is rare in the United States. There have been only 55 cases diagnosed since 1990.

However, between 16,000 and 39,000 people are vaccinated each year as a precaution after animal bites. Also, rabies is far more common in other parts of the world, with about 40,000 – 70,000 rabies-related deaths worldwide each year. Bites from unvaccinated dogs cause most of these cases.

Rabies vaccinations can prevent rabies. Rabies vaccine is given to people at high risk of rabies to protect them if they are exposed. It can also prevent the disease if it is given to a person after they have been exposed. Rabies vaccine is made from killed rabies virus. It cannot cause rabies.

Who should get rabies vaccine and when?

Preventive vaccination (no exposure)

  • People at high risk of exposure to rabies, such as veterinarians, animal handlers, rabies laboratory workers, spelunkers, and rabies biologics production workers should be offered rabies vaccine.
  • The vaccine should also be considered for:

     

     

    • People whose activities bring them into frequent contact with rabies virus or with possibly rabid animals.
    • International travelers who are likely to come in contact with animals in parts of the world where rabies is common.

The pre-exposure schedule for rabies vaccination is 3 doses, given at the following times:

  • Dose 1: As appropriate
  • Dose 2: 7 days after Dose 1
  • Dose 3: 21 days or 28 days after Dose 1

For laboratory workers and others who may be repeatedly exposed to rabies virus, periodic testing for immunity is recommended, and booster doses should be given as needed. (Testing or booster doses are not recommended for travelers.) Ask your doctor for details.

Vaccination after an exposure

Anyone who has been bitten by an animal, or who otherwise may have been exposed to rabies, should clean the wound and see a doctor immediately. The doctor will determine if they need to be vaccinated.

A person who is exposed and has never been vaccinated against rabies should get 4 doses of rabies vaccine – one dose right away, and additional doses on the 3rd, 7th, and 14th days. They should also get another shot called Rabies Immune Globulin at the same time as the first dose.

A person who has been previously vaccinated should get 2 doses of rabies vaccine – one right away and another on the 3rd day. Rabies Immune Globulin is not needed.

Talk with a doctor before getting rabies vaccine if you:

  1. ever had a serious (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a previous dose of rabies vaccine, or to any component of the vaccine; tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies,
  2. have a weakened immune system because of:

     

     

    • HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
    • treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids,
    • cancer, or cancer treatment with radiation or drugs.

If you have a minor illnesses, such as a cold, you can be vaccinated. If you are moderately or severely ill, you should probably wait until you recover before getting a routine (non-exposure) dose of rabies vaccine.

If you have been exposed to rabies virus, you should get the vaccine regardless of any other illnesses you may have.

What are the risks from rabies vaccine?

A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Serious problems from rabies vaccine are very rare.

Mild problems

  • soreness, redness, swelling, or itching where the shot was given (30% – 74%)
  • headache, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches, dizziness (5% – 40%)

Moderate problems

  • hives, pain in the joints, fever (about 6% of booster doses)

Other nervous system disorders, such as Guillain Barré syndrome (GBS), have been reported after rabies vaccine, but this happens so rarely that it is not known whether they are related to the vaccine.

NOTE: Several brands of rabies vaccine are available in the United States, and reactions may vary between brands. Your provider can give you more information about a particular brand.

What if there is a serious reaction?

What should I look for?

  • Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

Call your family doctor if you have questions about rabies and humans. If you have questions about your pets, call us!

International Assistance Dog Week is August 6-12, 2017.

  • What is it? International Assistance Dog Week was created to recognize all the devoted, hardworking assistance dogs helping individuals mitigate their disability-related limitations
  • What do assistance dogs do? Assistance Dogs transform the lives of their human partners with debilitating physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, aide, best friend and close member of their family.
  • What are the goals of International Assistance Dog week? The goals are to recognize and honor the hardworking assistance dogs; raise awareness and educate the public about how these specially trained animals are aiding so many people in our communities; honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs; and recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities.
  • Are all assistance dogs retrievers or are they other breeds as well? Assistance Dogs can be from a variety of breeds including, but not limited to: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, as well as shelter dogs.
  • can I get more information about Assistance Dogs? You can go to the websites for International Assistance Dog Week (www.assistancedogweek.org)
  • What kind of activities can I take part in during International Assistance Dog Week? You can take part in an event someone else is organizing in your community or organize your own. It can be small or large.
  • Who is sponsoring International Assistance Dog Week? International Assistance Dog Week was established due to the efforts of Marcie Davis, a paraplegic for over 35 years and CEO of Davis Innovations, a consulting firm based in Santa Fe, NM. Davis is the author of “Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook." 

How to Report a Pet Food Complaint to the FDA

You can report complaints about a pet food product electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or you can call your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.

Please have as much of the following information available when submitting your complaint:

Consumers often transfer dry pet food into other containers for easier handling.  If possible, please save the original packaging until the pet food has been consumed.  The packaging contains IMPORTANT information often needed to identify the variety of pet food, the manufacturing plant, and the production date.

  • Exact name of the product and product description (as stated on the product label)
  • Type of container (e.g. box, bag, can, pouch, etc.)
  • Product intended to be refrigerated, frozen, or stored at room temperature
  • Lot number – This number is often hard to find and difficult to read.  It is stamped onto the product packaging and typically includes a combination of letters and numbers, and is always in close proximity to the best by/before or expiration date (if the product has a best by/before or expiration date).  The lot number is very important as it helps us determined the manufacturing plant as well as the production date.
  • Best by, best before or expiration date
  • UPC code (also known as the bar code)
  • Net weight
  • Purchase date and exact location where purchased.
  • Results of any laboratory testing performed on the pet food product
  • How the food was stored, prepared, and handled

Description of the problem with the product.  Examples include:

  • Foul odor, off color
  • Swollen can or pouch, leaking container
  • Foreign object found in the product.

If you think your pet has become sick or injured as a result of consuming a pet food product also provide information about your pet, including:

  • Species (dog, cat, rabbit, fish, bird, other)
  • Age, weight, breed, pregnant, spayed/neutered
  • Previous health status of pet
  • Any pre-existing conditions your pet has
  • Whether you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements or drugs
  • How much of the suspected product your pet normally consumes
  • How much of the “suspect” product was consumed from the package?
  • How much of the product you still have
  • Clinical signs exhibited by your pet (such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy)
  • How soon after consuming the product the clinical signs appeared
  • Your veterinarian’s contact information, diagnosis and medical records for your pet
  • Results of any diagnostic laboratory testing performed on your pet
  • How many pets consuming the product exhibited clinical symptoms
  • Whether any pets that consumed the product are not affected
  • Whether your pet spends time outdoors unsupervised
  • Why you suspect the pet food caused the illness

Pet Dehydration

So how can you tell if your pet is dehydrated? Our friends at the AKC have shared this information below about pet dehydration.  For additional details, go to: http://www.akc.org/content/health/articles/warning-signs-dehydration-dogs/

Knowing the symptoms of dehydration in humans is something we take for granted when diagnosing ourselves, but most owners do not know the signs of dehydration in dogs.

This is unfortunate, since knowing the signs of dehydration can help you catch a serious medical condition before it gets out of control.

Here are some of the common symptoms to get you started:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Reduced energy levels and/or lethargy
  • Panting
  • Sunken, dry-looking eyes
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Loss of skin elasticity

Some of these are obvious to the naked eye, but others, like skin elasticity, require a simple test.

To test for dehydration in dogs, gently pinch their skin between your thumb and forefinger. In well-hydrated dogs, the skin will spring back to its original position. The skin of dehydrated dogs, on the other hand, will take longer to fall back into place.

It is a good idea to test your dog’s skin when you are sure your dog is well hydrated, so that you have a base for what normal skin elasticity for your dog feels like. This is especially important for owners of wrinkly breeds, such as Bulldogs or Neapolitan Mastiffs, because their wrinkly skin might be misleading.

You can also test your dog’s gums for dehydration. Dogs’ gums are normally nice and moist, and in some cases, positively slimy. Dry, tacky-feeling gums, on the other hand, are a symptom of dehydration. If you’ve ever experienced a dry mouth as a side effect of a medication, then you have an idea of what this feels like.

As you are feeling your dog’s gums, you can also test for capillary refill time. Press your finger gently against your dog’s gums, and then remove your finger. In hydrated dogs, the area where you pressed will appear white for a second, and then return to its normal pink color almost immediately. In dehydrated dogs, the capillary refill time takes much longer.

Lost Pet Prevention Month & Microchips

This July is "National Lost Pet Prevention Month." Established by PetHub in 2014, the annual event is designed to give pet parents focused, in-depth resources, tools and strategies for preventing a lost pet, as well as advice for getting them home quickly if they go AWOL (absent without a leash).

According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. The organizations also report that more than 10 million pets are lost each year and one out of three pets will be lost during its lifetime. However, only one in 10 pets is found. Such daunting statistics spurred PetHub to create National Lost Pet Prevention Month in order to start a national conversation and educational campaign to increase awareness of the lost, stolen and/or missing pet epidemic.

"We were very pleased with the level of social media engagement this event originally generated in 2014," said PetHub CEO Tom Arnold. "Every year, we aim to take the conversation deeper, so more lives can be saved. Designating July as National Lost Pet Prevention Month underscores PetHub's dedication to our mission: getting lost pets home as quickly as possible.""Pets are outside more and travel plans are in full swing, so the potential for pets to go missing spikes in July and August," added Clemens. "We want to raise awareness of this issue in a way that benefits and educates pet parents, while making it easy to spread the word to friends and family."MOST IMPORTANTLY: Does your pet have a microchip? If not, please schedule an appointment so that we can make sure that your pet can be identified if lost & then found. 

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