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What is Rabies?

Rabies is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus. Rabies is mainly a disease of animals. Humans get rabies when they are bitten by infected animals.

At first there might not be any symptoms. But weeks, or even months after a bite, rabies can cause pain, fatigue, headaches, fever, and irritability. These are followed by seizures, hallucinations, and paralysis. Human rabies is almost always fatal.

Wild animals—especially bats—are the most common source of human rabies infection in the United States. Skunks, raccoons, dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes and other mammals can also transmit the disease.

Human rabies is rare in the United States. There have been only 55 cases diagnosed since 1990.

However, between 16,000 and 39,000 people are vaccinated each year as a precaution after animal bites. Also, rabies is far more common in other parts of the world, with about 40,000 –70,000 rabies-related deaths worldwide each year. Bites from unvaccinated dogs cause most of these cases.

Keeping your dog up to date with vaccinations is not only essential to prevention, it’s the law.

1400-14-l-.33 Rabies Vaccination Schedule of Dogs and Cats

It shall be the duty of every owner to have his dog or cat vaccinated against rabies after the dog reaches three months of age, the cat six months of age. Regardless of the type of licensed vaccine used or the age of the animal at the time of the first (primary) vaccination, the animal shall be revaccinated one year later. Following the first two vaccinations, booster vaccinations will be due at either one or three year intervals in accordance with the approved duration of immunity of the specific vaccine used and the species vaccinated. The required due date for revaccination shall be placed on the certificate by the veterinarian administering the vaccine. As part of their registration and rabies control programs, local jurisdictions may have more stringent requirements, such as annual rabies vaccinations regardless of vaccine type used. For purposes of animal control programs and medical decisions regarding human anti-rabies treatments, a dog or cat shall be considered currently vaccinated only if a valid certificate exists and the revaccination date on the certificate has not been reached.

Why Vaccinate?

Vaccinating your pet not only protects him from getting rabies, it protects him if he bites someone. Dogs who have bitten humans are required to be confined for at least 10 days to see if rabies develops, and if the animal’s vaccination records are not current, a lengthy quarantine or even euthanasia may be mandated.

Avoiding contact with wild animals is also necessary to prevention. You may greatly decrease chances of rabies transmission by walking your dog on a leash, and supervising him while he’s out.

2017 Low-Cost Rabies Clinic Information

Metro Animal Care and Control (MACC) is following a new Metro Ordinance that requires us to offer the three year vaccine and license at our monthly rabies vaccination clinics.  We will begin offering the three year rabies vaccine and three year license with proof of previous vaccination at our first monthly clinic in February.  MACC hosts a low-cost vaccination clinic from 8:00 a.m. until Noon on the third Saturday of each month from February-November.  The monthly clinics are held at MACC’s shelter, located at 5125 Harding Place, in Nashville.