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New rabies research could save your pet's life

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Researchers at Kansas State University hope new information they've discovered on rabies can reduce the number of pets euthanized.

"I get a lot of phone calls from people who are very sad that they've had to euthanize their animal because they can't afford the quarantine and no one wants to put their pet in a six-month quarantine and not see it for six months," explained K-State Veterinarian Dr. Mike Moore.

If your dog or cat is exposed to rabies, right now they usually fall into two categories: vaccinated or not vaccinated. But what about the pets that are just a few months out-of-date on their vaccine?  Well, they usually fall into the non-vaccinated category, facing either euthanasia or a costly six-month quarantine.

New research from K-State found that pets with out-of-date vaccines respond to a rabies booster the same way as pets with current vaccines. The treatment for that:  45 days of at-home observation. The researchers hope this will save many pets lives and will lead to changes in the veterinary industry.

"Instead of routine vaccinations, we actually check our neutralizing antibody titers in the blood and if we call below a point, we're boostered. It's our hope in the future that pets will be allowed to be handled in the same way. There have been trials done that show over-vaccination or vaccination with certain products cause tumors and other health concerns and that could be a way to eliminate that," said Moore.

An important reminder: Your pets need an initial rabies vaccine in order to be protected from the deadly disease.