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Pet vaccinations are a must

May 15, 2013|By Lisa Bolton | Jessamine County Health Department

Rabies is a deadly disease that is almost always fatal if not prevented. In fact, every year in the United States, measures are taken to prevent approximately 40,000 potential exposures to rabies. Rabies is considered a disease of nature and can affect our unvaccinated pets (dogs, cats and ferrets). The animals that most commonly have rabies are wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Rabies is always present in Kentucky. Most cases of rabies in Kentucky are caused by bats, followed by skunks. Jessamine County has had several rabid skunks through the years.

However, pets like cats and dogs are often in close contact with wild animals. This can make them more likely to get rabies and transmit it to humans. Rabies is the best example of a vaccine-preventable disease of all vaccine preventable diseases. Kentucky law requires the vaccination of dogs, cats and ferrets after 4 months of age.

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To help prevent rabies, be sure to get your pets vaccinated every year. This will help make sure you and your pets are protected from rabies. Spaying or neutering your pets helps reduce the number of unwanted or stray animals in your community. Lastly, never touch or engage wildlife.

The Jessamine County Health Department along with four local veterinarians will be sponsoring rabies vaccination clinics in June. Rabies vaccine will be provided to pets including dogs, cats and ferrets for the low cost of $5. The clinics will run the week of June 8-15. Pets must be on leashes or in carriers. Fore more information, contact the Jessamine County Health Department at 859-885-2310.

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