Dr. Lucas Kandefer says rabies vaccination are required by law for cats, dogs, and ferrets in New York State. He says when they are talking about the rabies vaccination, they are not terribly worried about your indoor pets; your cats and ferret getting rabies. What your veterinarian is looking for is to protect people and protect them in the event of an accidental bite of if you are exposed to animal that may have it, for instance if a bat gets into the house. When a person or an animal gets rabies for the most part it is universally fatal. Once symptoms show, there is no way to help that patient and unfortunately almost every animal succumbs to that disease.
So when you are looking at that vaccination, especially for your indoor pets, the biggest risk is if they do have exposure to another person, they get bit, scratched or you startle your cat or dog when they are sleeping and they just turn around and not intentionally but they happen to scratch or bite someone. If they are not vaccinated, at a minimum, there is a requirement that they are quarantined, and you can have your pet taken away from you for a certain period of time to make sure people are safe.
Dr. Kandefer says they are there to make sure your pet stays safe, but we are also here to make sure you stay safe as well. That’s why it is important to make your pets are vaccinated so we don’t have that risk. When we have an exposure, the only way to test to see if an animal has rabies is to test brain matter and unfortunately it can’t be done on a live animal. That’s why it is so important to have your pet vaccinated. Number one it is the law and number two it protects them.
If you don’t have an established veterinarian or you can’t get in with your veterinarian or you can’t afford it, there are free rabies clinics in the area. If you go to Erie County’s website, you can get information on dates, times and locations.