World Rabies Day: The Importance of the Rabies Vaccine for Dogs and Cats

importance of the rabies vaccine

World Rabies Day takes place each year on September 28. This day is to help raise awareness on the importance of the rabies vaccine for both dogs and cats. Rabies is a fatal disease without treatment. This virus transmits through saliva (typically bite wound or scratch) from an infected animal to another animal or human. We will discuss the rabies vaccination and the importance of getting your pet vaccinated.

Importance of the Rabies Vaccine for Pets

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. Fortunately, it is preventable through vaccination.

Also, treatment for rabies is possible prophylactic-ally immediately following an exposure. However, once an exposed animal develops symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. Therefore, the rabies vaccine for pets is crucial.

Symptoms of Rabies

Symptoms of rabies will vary slightly for cats and dogs. Rabies progresses through distinct phases, including the following:

  1. The virus enters the body through a bite. It then begins to travel through the nerves to the brain. During this incubation period there are no symptoms. This period can last anywhere from a few weeks to months.
  2. Once the virus reaches the brain, it multiplies rapidly. This causes inflammation in the brain. Then, the virus starts to descend through the body traveling to the salivary glands and saliva. This is the point where the animal can transmit the virus. Early symptoms of rabies include the following:
    • general weakness or discomfort
    • fever
    • headache
    • discomfort itching at the site of the bite
    • prickling sensation at the site of the bite
  3. After a few days, the classic symptoms of rabies develop. Once these develop, the disease is nearly always fatal. These symptoms include the following:
    • cerebral dysfunction
    • anxiety
    • confusion
    • agitation
    • abnormal behavior
    • muscle paralysis
  4. When the virus reaches and paralyzes the diaphragm, death occurs. This is because the virus makes normal lung function impossible.

Treatment for Rabies

Unfortunately, for unvaccinated animals rabies is typically always fatal. This usually occurs within 7 to 10 days from when the initial symptoms began.

Therefore, getting your pet vaccinated is necessary.


These are just a few reasons for the importance of the rabies vaccine for pets. Contact us with the link below for more information or to get your pet vaccinated today!

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