Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the saliva of infected warm-blooded animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats, cats, and dogs. Rabies is most often spread to animals and humans through a bite from an infected animal. For humans, rabies is almost always fatal if rabies shots are not given before the onset of rabies symptoms .
Rabid animals may act tame, or may display strange or unusual behavior such as aggressiveness, avoiding food and water, foaming at the mouth, or difficulty moving. Stay away from any strange animals, especially wildlife. Report any unusual acting animal to your County Animal Control office.
Tips to Prevent Rabies:
Keep pet’s rabies shots up-to-date. By Georgia law, dogs, cats, and ferrets must get a rabies vaccine when they are 3 months old, but be aware that for some newer combination vaccines, this age is 8 weeks. Call your veterinarian for more details on rabies vaccines for your pets.
- Keep pets indoors, in a fenced yard, or on a leash when outdoors at all times.
- Do not leave uncovered garbage or pet food outside. Food that is left out may attract wild or stray animals.
- Stay away from wild, sick, hurt, or dead animals. Do not pick up or move sick or hurt animals. If you find a wild, sick, or hurt animal, call your County Animal Control office.
- Do not keep wild animals like raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and wolves as pets. It is dangerous and also illegal.
- Teach your children not to go near, tease, or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats.
- Call the GPC at 1-800-222-1222 with any rabies questions.