VETERINARY CLINIC Rabies in Idaho. Lewiston Veterinary Clinic 421 22nd St. North, Lewiston Farm Animals 208-743-6361 Small Animals 208-743-6553 564741J Rabies has been in the news lately with several cases in Idaho recently. Rabies is a serious and often fatal disease in human beings. It is easily and inexpensively preventable by vaccination in Ferrets, Cats, Horses and dogs. A single vaccine is given at over 3 months of age and then a booster is given in a Dr. John M. Hoch DVM year and then every 3 years in dogs and cats. For horses and ferrets a rabies vaccine is given yearly. Prophylactic treatment and vaccination in humans are costly and not usually covered by your health insurance. It is pretty inexpensive insurance to have all your animals vaccinated. Bats are the major animal in our region that carries rabies. In some years a majority of sick or easily caught bats are positive for rabies. This greatly increases the chance of domestic animals contacting a rabid bat. If a vaccinated animal is exposed to a bat, often home observation for ten days is all that is required. If the animal is unvaccinated, the health department may order the animal quarantined by a veterinarian or the animal shelter at the owner’s expense. If there is direct human exposure by a suspect unvaccinated animal, the animal can be ordered to be euthanized and the brain sent in to the state laboratory for testing. If there is ever exposure of a domestic animal or a person to a suspected rabid bat, the bat needs to be saved. Do not directly handle the animal or risk being bitten. It needs to be placed in doubled, sealed plastic bags and boxed. Contact your veterinarian and they will contact the local health official and submit the animal to the state lab. Call your veterinarian today and update your animal’s rabies vaccination if they are unvaccinated or overdue!