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Rabies is a serious illness typically transmitted through the saliva of animals. Its symptoms include increased fever, salvation, madness and other abnormal behaviors, convulsions, paralysis, and it can even cause death.
This virus affects dogs, cats, other mammals, and even humans. It is transmittable through the bite of an infected animal. Once infected, symptoms usually appear within one to three months. However, it can be as little as one week to as much as one year.
Before the start of symptoms, infected people have been cured by using the rabies vaccine and sometimes rabies immunoglobulin. Rabies causes tens of thousands of deaths worldwide. Most of the human deaths occur in Asia and Africa though. The only continent that rabies is not present on is Antarctica.
Symptoms of Rabies
Fever and headache are usually the first signs of rabies in humans. Inflammation of the brain comes on next and can bring on such symptoms as partial paralysis, confusion, anxiety, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, terror, and abnormal behavior. These symptoms then lead to delirium and coma. A fear of water is also often a symptom.
What/Who Can Develop Rabies?
All mammals can develop rabies. Birds, however, are largely asymptomatic and recover. They can also develop antibodies when they eat rabies-infected flesh. Larger animals present the biggest threat to humans.
Small animals, such as rabbits, rodents like chipmunks, rats, and squirrels almost never contract the virus and have not been known to spread it to humans.
Transmission between humans is very infrequent. The only known transmission between humans was through transplant surgeries wherein people received infected organs.
Arizona Rabies Vaccination Law
Since larger animals are the biggest threat to humans when it comes to rabies, most states have laws governing the vaccination of pets. Arizona rabies vaccination law states that dogs and cats should be vaccinated, and they should first be immunized at 3 months of age.
The following year the animal is required to receive another vaccination. After taking their second vaccination the animal is required to receive a booster shot every three years. Arizona rabies vaccination law doesn’t pertain to dogs and cats only.
Ferrets, horses, and cattle must also be vaccinated and their vaccinations must be annual. Ferrets should first be vaccinated at 3-4 months of age.
The law also states that any animal with an unknown vaccination history should be immunized right away and again within a year. In order to assess the current vaccination status of an animal, the following must be true:
- A product that’s approved for use was used in the vaccination process
- The vaccine was in the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control
- The vaccine was given by a licensed veterinarian who signed the certificate
- The recommended schedule was followed
- At least 28 days had passed since the first immunization
Rabies Quarantine Protocol
Arizona rabies vaccination law has a quarantine protocol for any animal that bites a person. It must be confined and observed for ten days. The animal must be tested for rabies if it develops signs of the illness or if it dies within those ten days.
Rabid Animal Bites a Person
At the first signs of illness, a veterinarian must examine the animal. If the dog or cat has been vaccinated for rabies, a home quarantine may be permitted at the discretion of animal control.
The owner will be given instruction on what to look for as far as signs of rabies are concerned.
The quarantine will be done at an animal control office or a vet’s office if the animal has not been vaccinated or if the vaccination status is unknown.
Pet Bit by Wild Rabid Animal
There is also a protocol for if your pet gets bitten by a wild animal. If the wild animal is caught and available for testing, then bring it in. If it isn’t caught, assume it is positive for rabies, after which notify animal control.
Take the dog or cat to the vet for a booster rabies shot. If the animal has had a rabies vaccine, home quarantine may be permissible.
The animal should be kept in a secure, enclosed place and only taken out on a leash for 45 days. If the cat or dog has never been vaccinated, you may want to consider euthanasia of your pet to avoid causing it pain.
Otherwise animal control will quarantine it for 120 days in an approved facility where it will most likely go through immense amounts of pain and eventually die. The owner will be responsible for all costs incurred.
Read more about dog-related injuries:
- Can You Get Rabies from a Dog Scratch?
- What to Do if You Get a Lump Under Your Skin After a Dog Bite
- How Long Do You Have to Report a Dog Bite?
Rabies Vaccinations are Vital
Rabies can infect just about any large mammal. It is a dangerous and deadly virus that results in madness and death. Arizona has taken precautions against transmitting this virus to humans by requiring that pets get vaccinated.
This helps in the prevention of transmission to humans. Arizona rabies vaccination law states that cats and dogs must be vaccinated and has laws about vaccinating your ferrets and livestock as well. In addition, there are protocols to follow when your animal gets bitten by a wild animal or if your animal bites a human.
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