Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system. It kills almost any mammal or human that gets sick from it. The rabies virus is mainly in the saliva and brain of rabid animals. It can be transmitted through a bite or by getting saliva or brain tissue in a wound or in the eye or mouth. It is vital that your pets be protected by getting vaccinated. Virginia Health Laws require all dogs and cats over 4 months of age to be immunized against rabies.
On Monday, September 26, 2022 from 4:30-6 pm at the Exmore Moose Lodge, vets and staff from Pocomoke Animal Hospital will be offering rabies vaccinations. On Thursday, September 29, 2022 from 6-7 pm at the Cheriton Firehouse, vets and staff from Cape Charles Animal Hospital will be offering rabies vaccinations. The cost per vaccination is $5 and if you have previous vaccination records, please bring them with you to the clinic.
What You Can Do to Help Control Rabies
Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up to date. If your pet is attacked or bitten by a wild animal, report it to the local health department or animal control. Be sure your vaccinated dog, cat, or ferret receives a booster vaccination.
Limit the possibility of exposure by keeping your animals on your property. Don’t let pets roam free.
Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. It may attract wild or stray animals.
Do not keep wild animals as pets. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control department and do not go near it yourself.
If You Have Been Bitten
Don’t panic…but don’t ignore the bite, either. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and lots of water.
Washing thoroughly will greatly lessen the chance of infection. Give first aid as you would for any wound.
If possible, capture the animal under a large box or can, or at least identify it before it runs away. Don’t try to pick the animal up.
Call an animal control or law enforcement officer to come get it.
It’s critically important that you notify your family doctor immediately and explain how you got the bite. Your doctor will want to know if the animal has been captured. If necessary, your doctor will give the anti-rabies treatment recommended by the United States Public Health Service. Your doctor will also treat you for other possible infections that could be caused from the bite.
Report the bite to the local health department.