Rabies is a fatal viral zoonosis and serious public health problem.1 All mammals are believed to be susceptible to the disease, and for the purposes of this document, use of the term animal refers to mam- mals. The disease is an acute, progressive encephalitis caused by viruses in the genus Lyssavirus.2 Rabies virus is the most important lyssavirus globally. In the United States, multiple rabies virus variants are main- tained in wild mammalian reservoir populations such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Although the Unit- ed States has been declared free from transmission of canine rabies virus variants, there is always a risk of reintroduction of these variants.3–7 The rabies virus is usually transmitted from animal to animal through bites. The incubation period is highly variable. In domestic animals, it is generally 3 to 12 weeks, but can range from several days to months, rarely exceeding 6 months.8 Rabies is communicable during the period of salivary shedding of rabies virus. Experimental and historic evidence documents that dogs, cats, and ferrets shed the virus for a few days prior to the onset of clinical signs and during illness. Clinical signs of rabies are variable and include inappetance, dysphagia, cranial nerve deficits, abnormal behavior, ataxia, paralysis, altered vocalization, and seizures. Progression to death is rapid. There are currently no known effective rabies antiviral drugs. The recommendations in this compendium serve as a basis for animal rabies prevention and control programs throughout the United States and facilitate standardization of procedures among jurisdictions, there by contributing to an effective national rabies control program. The compendium is reviewed and revised as necessary, with the most current version replacing all previous versions. These recommendations do not supersede state and local laws or requirements. Prin ciples of rabies prevention and control are detailed in Part I, and recommendations for parenteral vaccination procedures are presented in Part II. All animal ra- bies vaccines licensed by the USDA and marketed in the United States are listed and described in Appendix 1, and contact information for manufacturers of these vaccines is provided in Appendix 2. Modifications of note in this updated version of the compendium, compared with the previous ver- sion,9 include clarification of language, explicit encouragement of an interdisciplinary approach to ra- bies control, a recommendation to collect and report at the national level additional data elements on rabid domestic animals, changes to the recommended management of dogs and cats exposed to rabies that are ei- ther unvaccinated or overdue for booster vaccination, reduction of the recommended 6-month quarantine period for certain species, and updates to the list of marketed animal rabies vaccines.
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