SOURCE: Deer Park Animal Hospital

September 29, 2011 07:00 ET

Newport News Veterinary Clinic Announces Rabies Awareness Week

NEWPORT NEWS, VA--(Marketwire - Sep 29, 2011) - Deer Park Animal Hospital announced that September 26 - October 1 is Rabies Awareness Week. The veterinary clinic is working to increase awareness about the importance of rabies vaccination for protecting dogs, cats and ferrets against rabies. The veterinary hospital advocates that all pet owners keep their animals up to date with the yearly vaccination protocol. The animal clinic provides wellness exams, spay and neuter operations, pet dental care, surgical care and pet boarding.

Hampton Roads and Newport News veterinarian Dr. John Savell announced that September 26 to October 1 is Rabies Awareness Week. Deer Park Animal Hospital is promoting the importance of rabies vaccination for all cats, dogs and ferrets.

"It is extremely important that pet owners keep their dogs, cats and ferrets up to date on rabies vaccinations," said Dr. Savell. "In Virginia, state law and county ordinances require dogs and cats four months of age or older to be inoculated against rabies. We strongly recommend ferrets are vaccinated as well. Depending on the pet's age, it may need a one year or three vaccine protocol."

Rabies is a deadly virus that is easily transmitted between warm-blooded animals, including humans, through an infected animal's saliva in an open wound. The virus attacks the spinal cord and brain, and there is no cure. The best protection against rabies is regular vaccination.

"Because there is no cure for rabies, if a pet becomes infected with the disease state law and local ordinance require that the pet be quarantined and put to sleep," said Dr. Savell. "As a veterinarian, this tragic outcome for a beloved family pet is one I never want to see happen. If you move or switch vets, it can be easy to fall behind on vaccinations. Keep your pet's vaccine records with you, and stay up to date."

Dr. Savell also urged pet owners to use common sense around wildlife to reduce the risk of infection. To reduce the risk of contact with wildlife, he recommends that pet owners not walk their pet late at night or feed their pet outside. He also urges animal lovers to not feed or handle wildlife, even if they appear friendly.

"It can take between three and eight weeks for an infected animal to develop symptoms," said Dr. Savell. "It is essential to avoid contact with wildlife, even animals that appear healthy, because there is always a risk. If you are bitten by a rabid animal, seek immediate medical attention."

If a pet is bitten by another animal and the pet's rabies vaccination is current, the pet will receive a booster shot and be monitored under quarantine, as specified by local ordinance.

If the rabies vaccine is not current, many localities require euthanasia in order to prevent the spread of disease.

"No one should lose their pet to rabies," said Dr. Savell. "A regular vaccination is the only way to prevent this tragic outcome."

In addition to routine vaccinations, the veterinary clinic provides comprehensive wellness care, pet dentistry, surgical care including laser surgery, and dog boarding services. Pet owners can learn more about these services and Rabies vaccinations on the animal hospital's website,

Contact Information

  • Deer Park Animal Hospital
    Newport News, VA