After 45 years (1974), a canine has tested positive for rabies in El Paso County in the state of Colorado.
Thanks to the strict laws and easy availability of the rabies vaccine in the United States, rabies in pets in extremely rare.
An infected animal spreads rabies through their saliva. Rabies can also be transmitted to people from infected animals when the rabid animal’s saliva gets into a person’s:
- open wound or cut; or
- eyes, nose or mouth.
Vaccinations are especially critical in places where wildlife and humans live in close proximity as Dr. Robin Johnson, medical director at El Paso County Public Health, explains: “Pet owners need to understand how close the threat of rabies is to their families. Living in Colorado, rabies is often as close as your own backyard due to the skunks, raccoons or foxes that walk through there. Vaccinating your pets is your first line of defense.”