Why does my dog or cat need to be observed if it bites someone?

If a dog or cat bites a human, the animal must be observed for ten days to see if symptoms of rabies develop. This is necessary even if it has been vaccinated, as very rarely, vaccination fails to protect an animal and it develops rabies disease. At the longest, a dog or cat can have rabies virus in its saliva for only 2-3 days before it develops rabies symptoms. Therefore we know that if a dog or cat remains healthy for at least 10 days after it bites someone, it could not have had the rabies virus in its saliva at the time of the bite. If an animal does not have virus in its saliva, it cannot transmit the disease through a bite.

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1. What is the history of rabies in New Jersey?
2. How did the outbreak of rabies in raccoons get started in this part of the country?
3. What areas of New Jersey are affected the most?
4. How can I protect myself from being exposed to rabies?
5. How do I "animal-proof" my house and yard?
6. Do I still need to vaccinate my cats and dogs against rabies?
7. Why recommend that domestic animals get vaccinated if raccoons are the animals spreading rabies?
8. Can raccoons be vaccinated against rabies?
9. What should I do if I'm bitten or attacked by an animal?
10. Why does my dog or cat need to be observed if it bites someone?
11. If my ferret bites someone can my ferret be observed for 10 days?
12. Can I get rabies from a squirrel or a mouse?
13. Why do animals need to be killed in order to be tested for rabies?
14. How do people get rabies?
15. What are the symptoms of rabies in humans?
16. Is there a treatment for rabies?
17. What is the protocol for rabies post-exposure treatment?
18. What are the chances that I will get rabies if I am exposed to a rabid animal and don't get the rabies treatment?
19. How can rabies be prevented?