QUINCY, Mass., March 20, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Quincy veterinarian Dr. Meg Connelly, DVM from Willard Veterinary Clinic urges all pet owners to have their animals vaccinated against rabies. Recently, a rabid wild animal viciously attacked an elderly woman in her Massachusetts home in the middle of the night. This local veterinarian suggests cat and dog owners invest in a rabies vaccination to reduce the overall risk for transmission between wild animals, pets, and humans.
In February 2014, a raccoon slipped through a tiny cat door and into the bed of Ginny Ballou, a 73-year old woman in Hingham, MA. Ballou woke up with the raccoon already latched onto her face and chin, viciously biting her for more than two minutes as the woman struggled to free herself. With her hands still heavily bandaged, Ballou hid her face during a video interview because the injuries to her lips and chin were so disfigured.
Dr. Connelly said, "The threat of wild animals entering our homes or biting our pets is greater than some people realize. Pet vaccinations, rabies vaccinations in particular, reduce the risk that your pet will contract an infectious illness and pass it on to someone living in your household. More than 40,000 people receive preventative treatment after possible exposure to rabies each year. Pet owners can reduce the risk to themselves and their pets with rabies vaccines."
The rabies virus can infect any mammal. Unlike many other viruses that are species-specific, the rabies virus travels from one species of animals to another, including humans. Rabies vaccines prevent a pet from contracting and spreading the deadly virus.
Connelly goes on to say, "Pet vaccinations provide 'community immunity,' which is a form of protection for everyone. It is created through vaccination of the community members most vulnerable to infection – our pets. Vaccinating a few members of the community increases protection for all."
The veterinary community considers rabies one of the "core vaccinations" that all pets should receive, not only for the good of the animal but also for the health of the community at large. Laws regarding rabies vaccinations vary by state. Dr. Connelly explains that the rabies vaccination is generally recommended at 12 weeks of age. The vaccination can have too much interference with the mother's antibodies if administered before 3 months of age, yet it is important to provide the vaccination as soon as possible to protect against disease-carrying wildlife that may find its way into the pet owner's yard.
Pet owners can schedule an appointment with a Quincy veterinarian to learn more about pet vaccination, especially rabies vaccinations.
Willard Veterinary Clinic serves pets and their families in the Milton, Quincy and South Shore communities. Dr. Meg Connelly and her team of dedicated veterinary professionals provide comprehensive pet services, including pet vaccinations, dental care, and surgical care.
Willard Veterinary Clinic 1-888-667-5235