How Can You Prevent Rabies?
In general, the following precautions should be taken to reduce your risk of exposure to animals that may be carrying rabies:
¨ All pets and domestic livestock for which a licensed vaccine exists should be vaccinated. This includes dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle, and sheep. Vaccines should be administered by a licensed veterinarian, and boosters given according to the manufacturers directions.
¨ Do not approach or handle unfamiliar or wild animals.
¨ Thoroughly wash any wound caused by an animal with soap and water and seek medical attention immediately.
¨ Rabies Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) is highly effective in preventing rabies in people possibly exposed to a rabid animal, if administered before symptoms develop.
¨ There is no post-exposure prevention treatment available for animals. As a result, unvaccinated domestic animals that are exposed to a potential rabies carrier may be required to be euthanized.
¨ It is illegal to have wild animals as pets.
¨ Many exotic species make poor pets, and no rabies vaccine is licensed for use in these species.
How to reduce your pet's chance of exposure to a rabid animal.