Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and nerves. It attacks not only dogs and cats, but also all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Death results, once an animal or human gets the disease. If your dog or cat is not vaccinated against rabies, you and your pet are at risk. Rabies is big threat to your pet as well as yourself.
If your pet is properly vaccinated, a bite from another animal does not necessarily mean he/she will get rabies; only if the biting animal is infected with rabies, will your pet be at serious risk of getting the disease. Not all animals that bite have rabies. An unexplained change in behavior is the most common trait. A friendly pet may turn aggressive or act strangely with no explainable cause. Because this disease affects the brain and nerves, the infected animal may act in many different ways.
If you think an animal may have rabies, be extremely careful and avoid as much contact as possible. If you suspect your pet may have rabies, isolate him or her from other animals and humans until you receive further instructions from your veterinarian.
If a dog or cat that has not been vaccinated bites a human, it can be quarantined or euthanized depending on the circumstances. Rabies vaccine administered at intervals recommended by your veterinarian is the best prevention for this disease.
Vaccination is the best prevention even if your pet is an indoor pet. He may still be bitten by a wild animal or bat that accidentally enters your house. It is important to report your suspicion of rabies to your veterinarian or an animal shelter, in order to protect the public.