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Some people think that rabies doesn’t exist in Washington State, but that is not true. Rabies is mandatory for all pets within the City of Othello and is also required by state law.
All warm blooded animals are vulnerable to infection with the rabies virus. Once symptoms develop, rabies is almost always fatal. The disease is transmitted when the virus is introduced into bite wounds, into open cuts in skin, or onto mucous membranes from saliva or other material.
Thanks to effective vaccinations, dogs are not the most common rabid domestic animal in the US. They have been replaced by cats. The primary animals that carry rabies in the northwest United States are bats. Between 5-10% of bats submitted for testing are found to be rabid. Unfortunately the only way to test for rabies is postmortem (after death).
The best way to help control rabies is by following the Washington Law (WAC 246-100-197) which requires all owned dogs and cats to be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian.
Per the state law if unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets come into contact with a suspected rabid animal they are (i) Euthanized immediately; or (ii) Confined in a manner considered appropriate by the local health officer for at least six months from the date of suspected rabies exposure and given rabies vaccine at least thirty days prior to the end of the confinement period.
If your animal is current on their vaccine they can be revaccinated immediately with rabies vaccine, kept under the owner’s control in a manner considered appropriate by the local health officer, and observed for forty-five days for signs of illness.
*Note: cannot be combined with any other offers and subject to change without notice.