Rabid animals behave abnormally, and since rabies cannot be confirmed without laboratory tests, strange behavior is often the only way to identify potential rabies exposure. Rabies causes animals to foam at the mouth or drool excessively. This is a common way to identify an animal that may be infected. Other signs of rabies include chewing at old wounds, trouble eating or swallowing and difficulty walking.Continue Reading
Abnormal behavior is the first clue of a rabid animal. Nocturnal animals may be seen during the day. Wild animals may act tame and allow humans to get much closer to them than normal. Domestic animals may seem aggressive or mean.
A definitive rabies diagnosis requires samples to be sent to a lab for testing. Brain tissue is required, so the animal must be euthanized prior to testing. Two samples are needed, preferably one from the brain stem and one from the cerebellum. The samples are analyzed for the rabies virus.
Another way to identify rabies in animals is to rule out the disease. This prevents the unnecessary euthanizing of an uninfected animal. A quarantine period of 10 days is usually sufficient to rule out rabies. If symptoms appear or worsen during that time, lab testing of the animal's brain is required.Learn more about Veterinary Health
To find a free rabies clinic, perform a web search for free clinics in your town, city county or state; alternatively, contact town or city authorities, or your local department of animal control or public health, to find out when free clinics are scheduled. In some cases, states appoint an official to oversee rabies management. For example, the Massachusetts Rabies Coordinator can provide information on free rabies shots. Local animal welfare societies can also provide this information to pet owners.Full Answer >
The most common side effects from a rabies vaccination for a cat include mild fever, reduced appetite and some discomfort in the area where the vaccination was given. Typical side effects usually begin several hours after the vaccination and generally only last a few days, according to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.Full Answer >
Vaccinations for feline distemper, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and rabies are called "core vaccinations" and are the first shots kittens need, says PetMD. Depending on a kitten's lifestyle, a veterinarian may also recommend "non-care vaccinations," such as feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis, Bordetella, and Chlamydophila, states PetMD.Full Answer >
To find free rabies vaccines for pets, start by contacting your local animal shelter or Humane Society. These organizations often give free or low-cost rabies vaccinations at their own clinics, or they can direct you to an organization that can help.Full Answer >