I was astonished to realize that there are some people who don't know that rabies is a virus that can infect and kill any mammal. I've known that ever since I was young. So it's my duty to make sure you know about it, too.
The movie "Old Yeller" released in 1957 was, in part, about rabies and the really tough decisions people make and actions they take to keep others safe from rabies. I'm not as old as the movie, but I do know that rabies is still a worldwide problem, including in the US.
The single most important thing you can do is to make sure that your pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. If you're not sure, ask your veterinarian. Make an appointment to get their vaccine if they're due for one. You can expect to pay for a health exam if it's been over a year since your pet's last veterinary exam (that's to make sure your pet is healthy enough to receive a vaccine) and to pay to get the rabies vaccine. Only a veterinarian is licensed to do this job and they know how to store the vaccine properly.
This video tells you more about this deadly disease that can infect pets and people, and how a vaccine saves lives.
Written by Dr. Anna M. van Heeckeren, Founder, President & CEO of One Health Organization (originally published 9/28/2016 and updated 9/9/2020).