CANTON, Ga., Oct. 7, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic cites a recent increase in contact between rabies-infected wild animals and people and pets in urging all pet owners to check pet vaccinations records. Dr. Michele Stewart, one of the veterinarians at the Canton veterinary hospital, says that puppies, kittens and young ferrets are able to start on a course of vaccinations as early as 12 weeks old, with a booster shot once a year for the rest of their lives. She adds that regular rabies vaccinations are required by Georgia state law and that, most importantly, they prevent infections and save lives.
According to Dr. Stewart, she and her fellow Canton veterinarians are concerned about the increase in the number of domestic animals and people coming into contact with the rabies virus, which attacks the nervous system. "Recently in the local area, a rabid cat scratched a woman. The cat died two days later, but the woman was able to get on anti-rabies treatment immediately thereafter. In another case, a woman brought an infected stray kitten home. The kitten had contact with several people who are now being treated."
Dr. Stewart says owners need to ensure their pets are current on their pet vaccinations. She explains that while rabies can be fatal to non-vaccinated domestic and wild animals, it is entirely preventable through the vaccine. The vaccine builds immunity to the virus. Dr. Stewart says these critical pet services cost far less than treating a case of rabies and can save lives. Rabies symptoms begin like the flu (headache, fever, fatigue), but can progress to the hallmark mania, anxiety, confusion, drooling, hallucinations and death in just a few days. She says that once the initial rabies symptoms appear, there is little chance of survival. This is why she urges pet owners to call the animal hospital immediately if they are unsure of their pet's vaccination status.
Dr. Stewart warns that anyone who has been bitten by any animal (raccoons, bats, skunks, strays and foxes are common carriers) should seek medical attention immediately. Treatment consists of an immediate immunoglobulin shot and a course of rabies shots over 14 days. She also says to bring pets in to the animal hospital for an evaluation from one of their veterinarians if they are bitten by a wild animal, regardless of their immunization status.
Pets and pet owners should avoid contact with any animal, wild or domestic, that they do not know, continues Dr. Stewart. "Prevention is the absolute key with rabies. Vaccinations are one of those pet services that are simply essential to preventing this horrible, deadly disease."
Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic is a full-service animal hospital that provides preventative care, pet surgery and pet services such as grooming and boarding. More information about vaccinations can be found on their veterinary hospital website: http://acresmillvet.com.
CONTACT: Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic, 1-888-667-5235Source:Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic