Rabies is a fatal zoonotic disease, meaning it affects typically animal populations, but can be spread to humans. This deadly virus is transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. In Canada, raccoons, foxes, bats, and skunks are the main carriers of the disease. However, any mammal can potentially become infected and spread the virus. Wild animals affected with rabies often become less fearful of humans and domestic pets, which is why we recommend never approach wildlife under any circumstances.
Although indoor-only pets do not go outside, there is no guarantee that your pet cannot accidentally escape or that a wild animal cannot fly or enter into your house through an open window or door.
The only way to prevent the spread of this virus from the wild animal population to domestic pets is through vaccinating. For this reason, we strongly recommend that ALL pets receive a rabies vaccination at 16 weeks of age, one year of age, and then every three years for life. This vaccine is completely safe for both cats and dogs, as it only contains a killed form of the virus with little to no side effects after vaccinating.
In the event that your unvaccinated pet is bitten by a wild animal or bites a human being, your pet will be under strict quarantine and face possible euthanasia due to the severity of this disease. Routine rabies vaccination is the only way that you can be sure that your pets and family are protected.
Written by Amanda, RVT