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Dog Rabies Vaccine Schedule

Dog Rabies Vaccine Schedule

Preventing rabies in our beloved pets is crucial as it is a serious and often fatal disease for any mammal. Our vets at Somerset have shared the most effective rabies vaccine schedule for dogs, emphasizing on the importance of following it.

What is rabies? 

Rabies is a highly dangerous viral illness that can affect all mammals, including humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. The disease spreads through contact with contaminated saliva or brain tissue of the infected animal. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for rabies, and if left untreated, it almost always leads to death once the symptoms appear. 

The majority of states legally require dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. If your pet is not up-to-date on their vaccination and gets bitten by an animal, state law may require your dog to be quarantined for a prolonged period or even euthanized to safeguard other animals and people. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your dog's vaccinations are up-to-date to prevent the spread of this deadly disease.

How often does my dog need a rabies shot?

The frequency of rabies vaccinations for dogs is dependent on the regulations of the state you reside in. Typically, puppies receive their initial vaccination when they are between 14 to 16 weeks old, accompanied by a follow-up booster shot after a year. Subsequently, dogs need a rabies booster every 1 to 3 years. Your veterinarian is the most trustworthy source for determining the optimal frequency of booster vaccinations for your pup.

Why are rabies boosters required?

Vaccinations tell the body how to recognize the disease and create an immune response that will target and destroy the virus should it enter your dog's body. Over time, this immune response wanes and isn't as effective. Booster vaccines re-build your dog's immunity to ensure they stay protected. If you're worried about how much a rabies shot for dogs will cost, contact your vet to get an estimate and find out about payment options.

Can a vaccinated dog get rabies?

Rabies vaccinations offer great protection, but cannot ensure a complete safeguard. Although the chances of a vaccinated dog getting rabies are slim, it is still a plausible occurrence. To minimize this risk, it is important to maintain your dog's updated rabies vaccinations throughout their lifespan.

Are there any side effects of the vaccine?

It is typical for dogs to feel sensitivity, exhaustion, and drowsiness after receiving the rabies vaccine. These symptoms are natural and usually subside within 24-48 hours. However, if the side effects persist for more than two days or worsen, it is advisable to seek advice from your veterinarian. In rare cases, the site of injection may stay firm and swollen for several weeks. If the swelling persists beyond three weeks or increases in size, it is recommended to take your furry friend to the vet.

Side effects are not common, but if you notice any of the following symptoms in your dog after their vaccine, contact your vet right away:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
  • Severe coughing or difficulty breathing, and even collapse.

Overall, the rabies vaccine is extremely safe and an important factor in maintaining your pet's overall health. If you feel your dog is acting weird after a rabies shot, contact your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Contact our Somerset team at Midway Veterinary Hospital to book your dog's rabies vaccine.

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