What is rabies?
Rabies is a deathly disease caused by the rabies virus that damages the nerves and triggers brain inflammation. This disease can cause death, and it’s crucial to notify the authorities when there is suspicion of its existence in an animal.
It affects mammals, animals with fur that produce milk (including humans), and it spreads through saliva from the infected animal to another, mainly through biting. If there are scratches on the skin surface and saliva from an infected mammal touches the area, the risk of getting infected is very high.
Signs of rabies
The first symptoms of rabies may include:
- Changes in behavior
- Excessive licking from your dog and an increase in seeking the owner’s attention
- Extra sensitivity to light or noises
These symptoms are then followed by:
- Constant scratching itself (itching)
- Blankly staring in space
- Being thirsty more often than usual
- A high amount of saliva
As the disease progresses, the animal will have difficulty on swallowing, the muscles weaken, frothing saliva, convulsions, paralysis, followed by death.
What is the rabies vaccine for dogs
There is a vaccine to protect your dog from this deathly disease. This can only be done at a veterinary clinic, and it is usually better to have your dog microchipped before the jab.
Rabies vaccine for dogs – minimum age
Your dog needs to be at least 12 weeks old in order to be vaccinated against rabies.
Why rabies vaccine for dogs is important
The rabies vaccine is important to be done before taking your dog on holiday abroad to prevent catching this deathly virus from infected animals.
This jab helps to prevent the spreading of rabies to healthy animals.
The risk for humans to get rabies is as high as it is for dogs, so it is necessary to take preventive steps through vaccination.
Rabies vaccine for dogs – how often?
After 30 days from the rabies vaccination, your vet will take a blood sample to show that the vaccine gave the required rabies antibody level (minimum 0.5 IU/ml). You need to wait three months before you can travel with your dog abroad after this blood test was done.
Your vet will give you the dates for the rabies booster vaccination. The jab will be given regularly, and notes will appear on vaccination certificates. The first follow up vaccine will be after a year, followed by one every 2-3 years. The schedule depends on your dog and your clinician’s recommendation.
Rabies vaccine for dogs – effectiveness
This jab is effective only in preventing this virus’s spreading to your pet, other animals, or humans. It has no effect on an animal that has rabies.
Rabies vaccine for dogs – side effects
Usually, side effects would be visible straight away or in a few hours after the jab.
- Allergic reactions
- Erratic heart rate
- Mild reaction/soreness in the injected area
Contact your vet clinic if you are noticing any such effects so that your pet gets the attention needed to alleviate their discomfort.
In rare cases, side effects might appear after several months. This is why you should always consult a clinician when in doubt.
Unfortunately, sometimes there can be long term side effects such as:
- Weakening of muscles
- Problems related to the digestive system
- Weakened immunity
Natural alternative to rabies vaccine for dogs
If you worry about the possible side effects, you might ask yourself about other alternatives to this vaccine. There is nothing that can replace the rabies vaccine.
However, there is a homeopathic remedy that vets recommend to be used to prevent side effects. This is Lyssin 200C. This remedy’s effectiveness depends on your pet, and it’s only a recommendation, not a hundred per cent solution against the side effects of the rabies vaccine.
Cost of rabies vaccine for dogs
Part of your planning for this important vaccination is finding out the cost of the jab.
You can research online for local vet clinics and inquire about their prices. This way, you will find out how much is the rabies vaccine for dogs.
The cost depends on the area/ country where you live.
For example, in the USA, the first vaccination can start from 15 USD. Then you will need to take into account the booster vaccinations too.
In the UK, the average cost for a rabies vaccine for dogs is around £30. The total price for a pet travel passport (rabies vaccine, microchip, documents) being over £100.
In Australia, rabies vaccination is only necessary if you travel with your dog abroad, and the first dose is around 200 dollars.
You might want to find if there is the opportunity of having a free rabies vaccine for dogs. Unfortunately, there is no free alternative for this vaccination.
In case you need help with the spread of the costs for the vaccination, it’s worth discussing this with your vet. Some clinics might offer a discount on the rabies vaccine price for your dog.
Where can you get the rabies vaccine for dogs?
As with most vaccination for pets, this vaccine can be done in vet clinics. This is the safest way to get the rabies vaccine for dogs.
Travel vaccination clinics are other places to get the rabies vaccine for dogs or pets like cats, ferrets before traveling outside your country.
In the USA, owners can administer the rabies vaccine at their home but only if there is a vet to supervise them during this process. Check the laws in your state to know if you are allowed to vaccinate your dog by yourself or are required to have supervision at home from licensed professionals.
Where to buy rabies vaccine for dogs
If you are a dog owner living in the USA, in a state that allows the rabies vaccination to be done at home, then you can buy the rabies vaccine for dogs.
Look for reliable suppliers, checking online reviews, and most importantly, your vet’s advice. If you buy from an online supplier, make sure you check their credentials, reliability, and the ingredients of the vaccine. This is an important jab that must be safe for your dog and yourself.
Check with your vet and other dog owners’ tips on doing yourself rabies vaccine for dogs. You might even find tutorials online that could give more information on this aspect.