Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the brain and nervous system of animals and humans. It’s usually spread through saliva and is almost always fatal. There’s no cure for rabies in either humans or animals, and once symptoms start, even with urgent medical treatment the chance of recovery is extremely low.

Rabies symptoms can take up to 8 weeks after initial infection to develop, once present, they tend to progress very quickly.

Symptoms include:

  • Noise and light sensitivity
  • Unprovoked abnormal aggression
  • Abnormal behaviour
  • Abnormal vocalisation
  • Restlessness
  • Disorientation, weakness and paralysis
  • Hyper salivation, excessive salivation or foaming at the edges of the mouth.
  • Seizures
  • Coma and death

Fortunately, the UK is currently free from Rabies and reported cases are very rare. However, rabies is still present in many other countries of the world, including parts of Europe

The only way to prevent rabies is to vaccinate against it. It is not currently compulsory to vaccinate against rabies in the UK but it is if your pet ever travels abroad.

For more information, read our Pet travel page and the Government guidelines or speak to our friendly staff about travelling with your pet abroad.

If you are importing or exporting an animal, there are different Government rules that you will need to follow.

If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please always contact our veterinary team who will be able to advise you.