Prevent Rabies in People and Pets

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Over the last 100 years, rabies in the United States has changed dramatically. More than 90% of all animal cases reported annually to Center for Disease Control now occur in wildlife; principal rabies hosts include wild carnivores and bats.

Rabies is a dangerous virus that is found in the saliva of animals. It can infect and kill animals and humans. Every 10 minutes, someone dies from rabies. People usually get rabies when they are bitten by an animal that has the virus. Symptoms of rabies might not show up for months, but it is important to receive proper care very soon. When symptoms of rabies appear, people often die within a few days.

Early symptoms of rabies in people can include:

  • Fever, Headache and Weakness

As it gets worse, symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty sleeping, anxiety, confusion, tingling sensation (usually at the site of the bite), excitation (being too excited), hallucinations (seeing things that aren't there), agitation, salivating (drooling) more than usual, difficulty swallowing, fear of water

Help Prevent Rabies in Your Pets

Most people who have pets, such as dogs and cats, are very close to their animal companions. You might even have children and pets that are very close to each other. If your pet is bitten by a wild animal that has rabies, your pet can get sick and die. It could also cause you or a child to get rabies from your sick pet.

When a human gets rabies, it's often because a pet got rabies first. The good news is that there are things children and adults alike can do to help prevent rabies in your pet.

Things you should do include:

  • Take your pets to a veterinarian on a regular basis. They will keep your pets up-to-date on their rabies shots, which helps protect them from rabies.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your pet. This helps cut down on the number of stray animals.
  • Call animal control to remove all stray animals from your neighborhood. These animals may not have gotten their rabies shot and can give other animals and people rabies.
  • Remind kids not to go near stray animals and remind them to tell an adult if they see a pet wandering around without any person watching them closely.
  • Keep your pets indoors. When a dog goes outside, make sure an adult is there to watch it and keep it safe. Make sure children know not to take their pet outside without an adult around.
  • Do not feed or put water for your pets outside. Keep your garbage covered. These items may cause wild animals to come near your yard or house.

Stay Away From Wild Animals

Most of the time, rabies is found in wild animals. The main animals that get rabies include raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats.

If you see a wild animal acting strangely, stay away from it. Some things to look for are:

  • General sickness
  • Problems swallowing
  • Lots of drool or saliva
  • An animal that appears more tame than you would expect
  • An animal that bites at everything
  • An animal that's having trouble moving or may even be paralyzed

Animals that act this way may need to be helped by people who know how to take care of wild animals. Call animal control and make sure the animal gets the help it needs.

Sometimes, people may come across a dead animal. Never pick up or touch dead animals and make sure children know to stay away from dead animals. Animals who have died can still give people rabies, especially if they have only been dead for a short time. If a dead animal is spotted, contact a professional to properly remove the animal's body.

It is important to contact your local Clifton Park wildlife removal specialist at the first signs of bats or wildlife animals in and your home. Attempting to control and remove wildlife and other mammals you’re your home is dangerous and should be left up to a wildlife and bat removal specialists. Thomas Pest Services offers wildlife removal services to Chatham, East Greenbush, Saratoga and surrounding areas throughout the Capital Region. Contact us for a free inspection to safely remove bats and other wildlife from your structure.

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