If you’re favor me, you have actually probably read the book Old Yeller, writer by Fred Gipson, or have seen the Walt Disney Productions film of the same name. Ns remember analysis the book and also watching the movie as a child and not entirely understanding why the dog, Old Yeller, had actually to die. That course, that was prior to I attended veterinary school and learned about rabies and how the affects ours families and also our pets.

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For those of girlfriend who room not familiar with the story, the is collection in post-Civil battle Texas. Old Yeller is a dog the is adopted by a poor family as soon as the family’s father sets off on a livestock drive, leaving his wife alone with their 2 sons. A deep shortcut forms between the dog and also the 2 sons.

After a series of adventures, Old Yeller is forced to defend the family versus a rabid wolf. Throughout the fight, Old Yeller is bitten and injured by the wolf. Since of Old Yeller’s exposure to rabies and the truth that he is currently a risk to the family members as a result, the older son is forced to shoot and kill Old Yeller.

The Tragedy of Rabies

Was that really necessary to kill Old Yeller? Yes, despite it make a truly sad ending to the story, the was essential to kill him offered the series of occasions that occurred. In the mid-1800s, once this story is set, rabies to be a fatal an illness and an pet exposed come the condition not only would most likely die an uncomfortable death yet would also pose a hazard to people and other animals.

Have things changed today? Yes and also no. Things have not adjusted significantly in the truth that rabies is quiet a fatal disease. For animals, v very few exceptions, once infected through rabies, fatality is the final outcome. However, this particular day we have actually the capability to protect pets from becoming infected with rabies with vaccinations that were not available in the mid-1800s. Currently, we deserve to prevent our pet from the danger of rabies; an option not easily accessible to Old Yeller’s family.

What is Rabies?

What specifically is rabies and how do pets come to be infected through the disease? Rabies is led to by a virus that affects the nervous system of infected animals. The most common way of infection is a bite wound from an additional infected animal, although it can much more rarely be spread out by contact of contaminated human body fluids v the mucous membranes (such together the gums and eyes) together well.

Pets are most regularly exposed through call with wild animals. Skunks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and also bats are the most usual forms the wildlife infected with rabies. Contact with an additional infected domestic animal can additionally be responsible because that exposure. Cats, dogs, horses, cattle, pigs, and sheep room all at risk to rabies infection.

Rabies is a details threat due to the fact that it poses a public health and wellness threat. The is, rabies is infectious to people and to animals. And rabies is just as deadly to people as it is to animals. Together a result, most communities have occurred regulations requiring the inoculation of pet at risk for rabies. In many areas, that has both dogs and cats and sometimes ferrets. Most areas require rabies vaccination for pet in an initiative to assist protect the public from this deadly disease.

If Old Yeller to be to it is in exposed come that exact same rabid wolf today, would certainly the ending be the same? the would rely on Old Yeller’s rabies vaccination status. Assuming the Old Yeller’s family members had the vaccinated against rabies, he would certainly not need to be damaged in the 21st century. However, if the family had neglected to vaccinate your pet, quarantine would certainly be essential following the exposure to rabies (e.g., after ~ Old Yeller to be bitten by the wolf) and also euthanasia would certainly be the only recourse once the symptom of the disease became obvious — together they walk in the film.

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Don"t allow rabies occur to her pets. Consult her veterinarian around the rabies vaccine.