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What is Rabies?

Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nervous system. It's usually transmitted via saliva from a bite or scratch of an infected animal. Rabies is usually found in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. The UK is free from rabies, but it has been noted that a small number of wild bats can carry it. Rabies is not part of the standard vaccination courses; however, a rabies vaccination may need to be given if your pet is travelling overseas. More information on travel and vaccinations for overseas travel can be found on the GOV website:https://bit.ly/3gZz9ll

Rabies FAQs

What is rabies? 

Rabies is a rare but very serious infection of the brain and nervous system. It's usually transmitted via saliva from a bite or scratch of an infected animal. 

What are the symptoms of rabies in dogs?

The UK is currently rabies free and it’s extremely unlikely for rabies to be infecting a pet unless they have travelled abroad or met an infected animal. 

Symptoms of rabies can take several weeks to show but these include:

  • sudden behavioural changes – fearful, aggressive or attention seeking
  • muscle weakness
  • drooping face
  • excessive salivation or drooling
  • difficulty walking
  • noise sensitivity 
  • light sensitivity
  • seizures

How is rabies spread in dogs?

Rabies is usually transmitted via saliva from a bite or scratch of an infected animal.

How do you cure rabies in dogs?

Sadly, there is no treatment or cure for rabies. Vaccinations are the only prevention from this deadly infection. 

How long does rabies vaccine last in dogs? 

Rabies vaccines are usually required to be given annually but only for animals travelling to countries where it is present.

What are the symptoms of rabies in cats?

Just like dogs, cat symptoms would include the following, but cats contracting rabies is extremely rare:

  • sudden behavioural changes – fearful, aggressive or attention seeking
  • muscle weakness
  • drooping face
  • excessive salivation or drooling
  • difficulty walking
  • noise sensitivity 
  • light sensitivity
  • seizures

How common is rabies in cats?

Cats with rabies in the UK this is extremely unlikely unless a cat travels overseas or has contact with an infected animal.

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