Your veterinarian most likely recommends a Rabies vaccination every 1-3 years for your pets, regardless whether they spend much time outdoors.

Rabies is a real risk to all of us. A viral disease found worldwide, it is transmitted through saliva during a bite. Rabies is taken seriously because:

* It can be transmitted to people.

* It is fatal almost 100 percent of the time.

Rabies can only be diagnosed by direct examination of the brain, meaning there is no diagnostic test available in a live animal. But rabies is preventable. Rabies vaccination for our companion animals is safe, effective and, to some extent, mandated by law in all states.

Pima County requires that dogs be vaccinated, but not cats. However, I still recommend vaccination of all cats, even if they are exclusively kept indoors. The main sources of rabies in Arizona are in populations of bats, skunks and foxes. So far this year Rabies has been diagnosed in almost every county in Arizona. Pima County leads the state with 20 cases at the time this article is written (July 2019).

Rabid bats or other wildlife get into area houses and put the whole household at risk – both people and pets - even in Green Valley. All people or pets bitten by a wild animal should be receive medical attention immediately.

For more information on Rabies or other infectious diseases, or to make sure your pet is protected, please call Valley Verde Veterinarians for an appointment at (520) 393-7387.

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