World Rabies Day – September 28, 2017

Did you know that there is a whole day dedicated to rabies awareness and education?! September 28th is a World Rabies Day!

Rabies is a 100% fatal disease that can be transmitted through the saliva of infected mammals, often through a wound. Bats are the most common carrier of the disease in Alberta. In fact, there have been several rabies-positive bats found in Alberta this summer, one as close as in Leduc!

Rabies can be presented in two forms – the furious form and the dumb form. Both forms are fatal but the clinical signs of each can vary. The furious form is most commonly seen in cats, dogs and wildlife, whereas in cattle and horses, the dumb form is most often observed. Clinical signs of rabies can differ, but most common changes in behaviour are noted, often in the form of aggression.

To officially diagnose rabies, a post-mortem sample of the brain stem must be analyzed by a diagnostic laboratory, although the clinical signs of rabies can lead clinicians in the general direction of a presumptive diagnosis. Rabies can be prevented through vaccination. Vaccinations exist for cats, dogs, horses and humans, just to name a few.

So how can you do your part to prevent rabies? It can be easy! Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date, do not handle wildlife and always seek medical attention after animal bites.

Want to learn more about world rabies day? Go to

Written by Mill Creek Animal Hospital