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The rabies vaccine is one of the most important vaccinations for your dog. Rabies is a viral infection that is transmitted from an infected animal to others through saliva. Transmission usually occurs through a bite. If not treated the infection is fatal, and the best way to prevent an infection is though vaccination. The vaccine was previously made up of a live attenuated strain of the rabies virus but newer vaccines use just the viral antigens.Things You Need To Know About The Rabies Vaccine:
Things To Consider When Vaccinating Your Dog:
- The rabies vaccine is recommended for all pets to prevent a rabies infection that could be fatal.
- The vaccination works by introducing the viral antigen into the bloodstream of the animals causing an immune reaction. The immune system develops antibodies to the antigen and are ready to take on an actual infection if one occurs.
- Protection given by the vaccination is usually effective for one to three years depending on the type of vaccine. The vaccine will have to be repeated once its protection fades.
- All vaccination dates should be kept on record to avoid missing a dose.
Side effects of rabies vaccine:
- Very young puppies should not be vaccinated. Check with your vet which is the best age to give your dog its first vaccine, this is usually after the puppy completes two months.
- Do not vaccinate a dog that is not well. A sick dog already has a weak immune system and will not be in a position to develop the required protection.
- Similarly, do not vaccinate a dog that is under a lot of stress. Newly rescued strays, a dog that has just shifted house or a dog that has just lost a close family member will be under stress. It is best to allow the dog to calm down before getting it vaccinated.
- Do not vaccinate a dog who is going to be traveling in the next few days. Save travel for at least ten days after a vaccination.
- Watch out for side effects after the vaccination. Some dogs might not react well to the vaccinations and show an allergic reaction or other side effects, report these to your vet right away.
- Some of the more immediate reactions to the rabies vaccine include:* Face swelling* Skin rashes* Irritability* Loss of appetite* Restlessness
- Some of the more long-term side effects include:* Becomes more clingy* Becomes more aggressive* Becomes more restless* Pica or eating strange objects like wood and stone* Autoimmune diseases* Muscle weakness
If you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above after the dog has been vaccinated, take the dog to the vet immediately. Keep all reactions and side effects on record and inform your vet of the same on future vaccination visits.