Rabies is a deadly disease that is present in many areas of the United States. It is carried by a number of species, including dogs, raccoons, skunks, bats, and foxes. In California, rabies is found most frequently in bats and skunks. The disease is transmitted through a bite from an infected animal, or any transfer of saliva which contains the virus.
Rabies can be effectively controlled in the dog and cat population through vaccination. The vaccine can be administered to puppies and kittens after 4 months of age. The first vaccination produces immunity for one year, while later vaccinations provide immunity for 3 years. In California, it is required by law that dogs be vaccinated for rabies.
The county of Ventura has recently warned pet owners about the increased incidence of rabies in skunks, bats, and raccoons. If your dog or cat has had exposure to wild animals, it is essential to re-booster your pet within 48 hours or face a strict 6 month quarantine. For further rabies information, please contact http://ccr.oal.ca.gov. Title 17, Section 2606.