Rabies is a viral disease that affects the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including cats, dogs and humans. This preventable disease has been reported in every state except Hawaii, and annually causes the deaths of more than 50,000 humans and millions of animals worldwide. There’s good reason that the very word “rabies” evokes fear in people—once symptoms appear, rabies is close to 100-percent fatal.

Rabies vaccines are given to cats and dogs ideally at about 4 months of age, they are then boostered one year later. After that, dogs are boostered every 3 years, while cats are boostered annually.

We ask that all patients receive a full examination before vaccines are administered. Certain underlying health problems, which may be difficult to recognize, can interfere with vaccine efficacy. Additionally, if your pet is incubating an infection, vaccines may complicate the problem. For these reasons, Dr. Warren wants to ensure that your pet is healthy and in suitable condition to receive the vaccines. During the examination visit, Dr. Warren and our technicians will discuss necessary and recommended vaccines and help determine the vaccine protocol that will best serve your pet.

As of January 1, 2012 Washington State requires vaccination for rabies for all dogs and cats.  For the safety and health of you and your pets and to ensure compliance with the law, we recommend scheduling an appointment to keep your pet's rabies virus vaccination current.

WSVMA, Infectious Diseases of Dogs and Cats and their prevention [pamphlet], Snoqualmie, WA.