Administration Of Rabies Vaccination State Laws
The following is a compilation of state laws governing the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals.
Most states specifically regulate the administration of rabies vaccinations to domesticated animals including dogs, cats, and ferrets. Many states allow only licensed veterinarians to administer the vaccine, while others allow veterinary technicians and specifically trained individuals to inoculate these animals.
The required frequency of rabies vaccinations varies from state to state. Some states prescribe a specific interval, while others refer to the label of the vaccine used or the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control. Some states are also beginning to provide exemptions for vaccination requirements if medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian.
Note that while some states have adopted statewide mandated vaccinations for dogs and cats against rabies, others delegate that decision to local governments such as counties. Some states only include rabies vaccination as a requirement for import into the state.
Are Vaccinations For My Cat Necessary
Yes, vaccinations prevent fatal and zoonotic diseases. Rabies is something that, if your cat were to contract it, it could be fatal to your cat, and if you were to contract it, it could be fatal to you. So that is a reason that that one’s necessary. Other vaccines may not be zoonotic, may not be transmissible to humans, but they could still be very dangerous or fatal to your cat.
What Are The Recommended Kitten And Cat Vaccination Schedules
Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are dependent upon several factors, including preexisting medical conditions and indoor or outdoor living situations. You should always discuss these factors with a veterinarian to determine what your cat vaccine schedule should be. However, we have listed an approximate cat vaccine schedule here for an Ôaverage’ indoor housecat to give you an idea of a cat vaccination timeline:
- 6-10 Weeks Old: FVRCP
- 11-14 Weeks Old: FVRCP , FeLV
- 15+ Weeks Old: FVRCP , FeLV , rabies vaccine
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My Pet May Have Rabies
If you suspect your pet already has rabies:
- put your pet in a quiet, dark area by itself
- call your veterinarian right away.
- keep your pet away from people or other animals
- if your pet has bitten you or another person, call your local public health unit
If you suspect your pethas come into contact with a rabid animal, call your local veterinarian.
He or she will ask for information to help determine if your pet may have been exposed.
Your veterinarian may vaccinate your pet within 7 days if:
- he or she finds that your pet may have been exposed to rabies
- the animal your pet was exposed to cant be found and tested for rabies
- tests show the animal your pet was exposed to does have rabies
If I Choose To Breed My Cat When Should I Start
There are many kittens that need adoption, so unless you have specific plans for the kittens, breeding is not recommended. Even if you find homes for all of the kittens, those homes are then no longer available for the many cats and kittens that need adopting from shelters.
If you decide to breed your cat, she should be at least one year old. This will allow her to mature physically and minimize the physical demands of pregnancy. Many breeds have preexisting genetic conditions. This needs to be considered and screened for before breeding can occur. Speak with your veterinarian to make sure you practice responsible breeding techniques.
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What Vaccinations Are Typically Recommended And What Are They For
We went over that a little bit. In general, for kittens, I recommend doing all three vaccines that we’ve discussed. The distemper vaccine, which is the combination vaccine, I recommend rabies, and for kittens, even if we’re pretty sure that they are not going to be going outside, I recommend doing the leukemia vaccine during their kittens series to make sure they’re protected. Sometimes plans change between kittenhood and a year old, and we end up letting kitties out, or they get out because they’re wily little creatures, and we want to make sure that they’re safe. After the kittenhood vaccines, we recommend every three-year vaccines for rabies and distemper, and leukemia comes every two years, but only for outdoor kitties.
What Exactly Are Cat Vaccinations
A vaccination is an injection of a mixture of molecules that will help stimulate an immune response to a specific disease. A common one would be the rabies vaccine. In the rabies vaccine, there are parts of the rabies virus, not the entire virus. It’s not an active or live virus, but parts of the virus that we inject along with other chemicals into your cat to help them start to build antibodies, to protect them against exposure to rabies, and keep them safe. We also have vaccines for many different diseases in cats. There is the feline leukemia vaccine and what we call the distemper vaccine, a combination of several diseases that can cause feline distemper and various respiratory diseases.
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Vaccine And Immunoglobulin Safety And Adverse Events
Refer to Adverse Events Following Immunization in Part 2 for additional general information.
Common and local adverse events
Local injection site reactions such as pain, erythema, swelling, pruritus and induration at the injection site were reported in 60% to close to 90% of recipients. Mild systemic reactions such as headache, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle aches and dizziness were reported in about 6% to 55% of recipients.
Local injection site reactions were reported in 11% to 57% of recipients, consisting of pain, tenderness, swelling, erythema and induration at the injection site lasting for 2 to 3 days. Systemic reactions are generally less common and may consist of malaise, myalgia, arthralgia, headache and fever. Lymphadenopathy, nausea and rash have been reported occasionally.
Local injection site pain, erythema and induration are commonly reported following administration of RabIg, as are systemic reactions such as headache and low-grade fever. The majority of reported events were mild.
Less common and serious or severe adverse events
Serious adverse events are rare following immunization and, in most cases, data are insufficient to determine a causal association.
Anaphylaxis following immunization with PCECV has been rarely reported. Temporally associated neurologic events have also been very rarely reported but causal association with vaccination has not been established.
Contraindications and precautions
Are Cat Vaccinations Required By Law
Rabies is the only cat vaccination required by law in the state of Pennsylvania. This is due primarily to the threat rabies poses to human beings, and the speed at which rabies can spread. Although other cat and kitten vaccinations are not legally required by law, they are important to protect your cat from serious disease.
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How Common Is Rabies In Washington
We have rabid bats in our state. People import animals from countries with dog rabies increasing the potential of bringing in rabid animals. Each year, about 400 to 600 animals are tested for rabies, mostly bats. We find rabid bats in Washington every year. The last reported case of rabies in an animal other than a bat in our state was in 2015. A cat developed rabies after catching a rabid bat. The last reported cases of people infected with rabies in Washington were in 1995 and 1997. Rabies activities in Washington.
Why Do Pets Need Vaccines
Vaccines protect against contagious, potentially fatal diseases, says Margret Casal, DMV, PhD. Casal is associate professor of medical genetics at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Vaccines trigger immune responses, she says, and prepare pets to fight future infections.
Casal tells WebMD that vaccines have saved millions of pet lives. And even though some once common diseases are now rare, she says veterinary groups agree that many vaccines are still necessary.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Rabies
Following a bite or scratch from a rabid animal, the disease progresses through three stages:
1. In the first or prodromal stage, there is a marked change in temperament quiet cats become agitated and can become aggressive, while active extroverts may become nervous or shy.
2. This phase is then followed by so-called furious rabies that is by far the most common type observed in the cat. During this phase, excitement predominates and it is at this stage that the cat is most dangerous, both to other animals and to the owner. The cat becomes increasingly nervous, irritable, and vicious. Muscle spasms will often prevent swallowing and there is excessive drooling of saliva.
3. The third stage is the paralytic stage, which usually occurs after about seven days. Ultimately the cat will become comatose and die.
A noted feature of rabies in cats is the widely dilated pupil throughout all stages of the disease.
Providing Your Cat With Post
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Travel To The United States
If youre travelling to the United States with your dog, you need an up-to-date vaccination certificate signed by your veterinarian to enter the U.S. and return to Canada.
You must wait 30 days after your dog is vaccinated before you can cross the border.
If your dog is less than 4 months old, it wont be admitted into the United States.
In some parts of the U.S., the risk of your pet being exposed to rabies may be higher than in Ontario.
Other pets may have different requirements. Check your destinations requirements and/or speak with your veterinarian before traveling.
What To Consider
Think through some scenarios that might expose your cat to disease. Cats who spend any time outdoors are at greater risk of exposure to many infectious diseases.
Cats housed exclusively indoors generally do not require vaccination beyond feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus-1, and feline calicivirus. These core vaccines are recommended for every cat, indoor or outdoor, because of the widespread or severe nature of these diseases.
Indoor cats generally have a low risk of exposure to infectious agents, particularly where the disease in question is transmitted only by direct contact among cats. Yet the entire household may be at risk of exposure to additional agents in multiple-cat households where some cats are housed exclusively indoors while other cats are permitted outside unmonitored. Indoor cats may also be exposed by indirect transmission of pathogens brought inside on clothing, shoes, or other ways.
Indoor cats may also benefit from rabies vaccinations and feline leukemia virus vaccinations. Veterinarians often recommend vaccination of the entire household for selected diseases if exposure risk is thought to be significant.
Rabies vaccinations are important because cats can become infected from other animals and transmit the fatal disease to humans and other animals. This vaccine is required by law in many states.
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What Are The Non
The core vaccinations are rabies and then FVRCP, which is Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. Those are considered core because your cat could still be exposed to these viruses, even if they are indoor only. So when I say core, every single cat that comes to our practice, it is recommended that they get those vaccines.
An example of a non-core vaccine is the feline Leukemia vaccine, so feline Leukemia is spread from cat to cat by bite wounds from other cats, so typically only cats that go outdoors and interact with other cats, or maybe have another cat in the household who’s positive for feline Leukemia would be advised to get that vaccine. All cats are recommended to get it initially and at their one-year visit, but then we only continue if those cats have those risk factors.
But Does The Fact Pets Might Be Susceptible Mean They Need Vaccination
No, says Schultz. Lifestyle and location play important roles. If your dog lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building, it wouldnt have to worry about kennel cough, unless it is kenneled or taken out to be around other dogs. And your dog wont get Lyme disease in many areas of the country. Ask your vet.
Leptospirais a life-threatening bacterial infection. Disease outbreaks are usually caused by exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals, including rats, cattle, pigs, horses, and deer. If your dog doesnt go hunting, or if its not around other animals, theres no need [for it to be vaccinated,” Schultz says. Also, this vaccine causes more adverse reactions than many others, so it’s important to weigh the risk versus benefit when deciding if you pet needs it.
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What About Adverse Events
No injection or medication is without some degree of risk, but we continue to vaccinate because, in most cases, it is much smaller than the risk of the disease itself.
The overall incidence of adverse reactions in cats is reported to be about half of 1 percent and usually mild and self-limiting. Common side effects include lethargy, transient fever and local inflammation.
Anaphylaxis and death are, fortunately, extremely rare: about one in every 10,000 vaccines.
A vaccine-associated sarcoma is a slow-growing but locally aggressive cancerous mass that develops at vaccine injection sites. Sarcomas occur with about the same rare frequency as anaphylactic reactions.
For cats without a history of vaccine reactions, the risk of sarcomas is usually outweighed by the benefit of the core vaccines.
Pet owners can minimize the impact of sarcomas by monitoring injection sites for swelling after vaccinations. Swellings should be biopsied if they are larger than 2 centimeters, persist longer than three months, or grow one month past the date of vaccination. When sarcomas are addressed early, surgery is often curative.
Rabies Vaccinations And Boosters
You must get your dog, cat or ferret vaccinated against rabies before it can travel. Your vet needs proof that your pets at least 12 weeks old before vaccinating them.
If youre taking your pet to the EU or Northern Ireland, you must wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before you travel.
You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, theyll need to be vaccinated again.
The vaccine must be an inactivated vaccine or recombinant vaccine thats approved in the country of use.
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When Should My Kitten Be Vaccinated
Generally, kittens are vaccinated for the first time at between six and eight weeks of age and booster doses are given at ten to twelve weeks and again at fourteen to sixteen weeks. A kitten will not be fully protected until seven to ten days after the second vaccination. Under specific circumstances, your veterinarian may advise an alternative regime .
How Often Should Booster Vaccinations Be Given
In the past, veterinarians recommended booster vaccinations for cats on a yearly basis. However, as we learn more about, and improve vaccines, recommendations regarding booster frequency continue to evolve. The appropriate interval for boosters will vary with individual lifestyle.
“If your cat is at higher risk for exposure to a disease, the more frequent vaccination schedule may be recommended.”
Most adult cats that received the full booster series of vaccines as kittens should be re-vaccinated every one to three years based on a lifestyle risk assessment. That is, if your cat is at higher risk for exposure to a disease, the more frequent vaccination schedule may be recommended. It is important to thoroughly discuss your cat’s lifestyle with your veterinarian and determine the appropriate vaccinations and vaccination schedule for your cat.
The AAFP vaccination guidelines recommend that low-risk adult cats be vaccinated every three years for the corevaccines, and then as determined by your veterinarian for any non-core vaccines. Some vaccine manufacturers have developed approved three-year vaccines for many of the core vaccines. It is important to note that feline leukemia virus vaccine is recommended by some AAFP members as a core vaccine, while other experts classify it as a non-core vaccine. Your veterinarian is the ultimate authority on how your cat should be vaccinated.
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Why Should I Have My Male Cat Neutered
Neutering or castration refers to the complete removal of the testicles in a male cat, and like spaying, offers health advantages:
- Unneutered males are involved in more cat fights than their neutered friends.
- Some male cats go through a significant personality change when they mature, becoming possessive of their territory and marking it with their urine to ward off other cats. Intruding cats that disregard the urine warning may be met with aggression.
- The urine of an unneutered male cat has a very strong odor that is difficult to remove from your house if he marks his territory. Unneutered males will spray inside the house and will have litter box issues.
- Fighting increases the risk of infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia.
- Unneutered males may be less friendly toward their human family members too.
Male cats are usually neutered between 4-6 months of age under general anesthesia. Unless there are complications such as undescended testicles , the cat may go home the same day . Cats with undescended testicles should be neutered too. The testicles still produce testosterone and these cats still act like unneutered males. These cats are at a high risk for developing cancer later in life.