Pets are adorable and fun to be with. However, a simple bite or scratch can be deadly if your pet has not had its rabies shot. This is why pet owners must make sure to give their furry friends rabies vaccinations.

Rabies is an infectious disease passed from animals to humans. It happens when an animal’s virus-infected saliva enters the skin, via a animal bite or scratch. Usually, mammalian pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, and rodents like rats, mice, bats, hamsters, monkeys and the like can become rabies-infected.

Rabies is still a huge problem in the Philippines because a lot of pet owners are not informed about the dangers of rabies and how it is spread. Other pet owners are hesitant to give their pets rabies vaccines because they feel it is too much of an expense. Plus, there are a lot of stray dogs and cats wandering the streets. They are more likely to become rabid and bite or scratch people.

Not all animal bites lead to rabies.There are specific symptoms to watch out for.

According to Dr. Evalyn Roxas, Internal Medicine-Infectious Disease, there are two classifications of rabies: Furious Rabies (90% of human cases) causes light and water sensitivity and affects the central nervous system leading to death. Paralytic Rabies, on the other hand, takes a long time before it kills you. It paralyzes your muscles from the infected area spreading outwards.

The incubation period usually depends on the area of the bite and varies from 90 days up until 20 years.

“Avoid using home remedies since it will worsen the condition.” Dr. Evalyn Roxas stated. Rubbing garlic on the wound and tandok, a process of removing the venom using an animal’s horn is discouraged. Instead, soap and water with the help of vigorous washing can stop the virus from entering the wound. It is highly advised to undergo a Post Exposure rabies Prophylaxis (PEP), a vaccine after the bite. The earlier you get the injection, the better.

For further inquiries about rabies and Post Exposure rabies Prophylaxis, visit www.manilamed.com.ph or call (02) 523 8131.