Rabies is caused by a virus that is spread through the saliva of infected animals, most commonly foxes, skunks, raccoons, and bats. Despite the fact that we rarely see Rabies in our pet population, it is a serious and fatal disease if contracted. It is also a zoonotic disease, meaning that it is capable of being transmitted to humans.



As the clinical symptoms of Rabies can mimic other disease processes, your veterinarian will likely recommend:

Rabies can only be diagnosed after death by analyzing brain tissue for the virus. However, any animal exhibiting neurologic signs (see above) must be considered a possible Rabies suspect, and precautions must be taken to limit human exposure as best as possible.


There is no treatment for Rabies. Once contracted, Rabies is ultimately fatal.


There is a vaccination available against Rabies, and all pets must be up-to-date as mandated by Massachusetts State law, regardless of their exposure risk.