SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

May 2, 2014

Vet Connection: Rabies: How to avoid a killer virus

(Continued)

If you are traveling in a foreign country do not pet the dogs. You have no idea if they are carrying rabies. We had a pre-vet student working with us who went to Africa to study baboons. She did not undergo rabies vaccination before traveling due to a vaccine shortage. She made the mistake of patting a friendly dog. It was later diagnosed with rabies. She underwent a series of vaccinations and is doing quite well at veterinary school now.

You may have your pets vaccinated year-round at your local veterinarian’s office. Most veterinarians will do a physical examination to make sure your pet is not ill before administering the vaccine. A vaccine administered to a sick pet may not be effective in protecting your pet from the virus and would be a waste of your hard earned dollars and a danger to you.

On Wednesday, May 7, the Veterinary Association of the North Shore will host a vaccine clinic from 4 to 6 p.m. in locations throughout the North Shore. The Salem clinic will be held in the back garage area of the police station. Other locations for the clinics are Beverly, Essex, Gloucester, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Middleton, Peabody, Saugus and West Newbury. Many of these clinics are held at fire stations but you need to contact your city hall or animal control officer to find out the exact location.

All dogs must be on a leash. All cats must be in a carrier (preferred) or on a leash. The vaccine is $10, and all vaccinations are valid for one year. The proceeds are used to fund a veterinary scholarship for a deserving student who plans to practice on the North Shore after graduation.

If you are student in veterinary school or about to enter veterinary school and are interested in applying for a scholarship, contact Dr. Chris Meehl at Lynnfield Animal Hospital (rmeehl@animalhospital.com) or Dr. Kate Dodge at katedodgevmd@gmail.com.

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Dr. Elizabeth Bradt is a 1986 graduate of Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Salem. Email your pet questions to docliz@creaturehealth.com. Please title your email Vet Connection.

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