Rabies vaccination is the only vaccine required BY LAW. The duration of the rabies vaccine can be either 1 year or 3 years depending on your pets’ vaccine history.
A signed Rabies Certificate from a veterinarian is the only acceptable form of proof for prior rabies vaccinations. Rabies tags, vaccine reminder cards, and/or receipts from your veterinarian’s office are NOT considered valid proof of vaccination.
Rabies vaccination side effects:
It is common for pets to experience some or all of the following mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination. If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your primary care veterinarian:
Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
Decreased appetite and activity
A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, you should contact your veterinarian.
More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. These reactions can be life-threatening and are medical emergencies.
Seek veterinary care immediately at a local animal emergency hospital if any of these signs develop:
Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
Itchy skin that may seem bumpy ("hives")
Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
If your pet is known to have an adverse vaccine reaction it is your responsibility to notify the veterinarian at the clinic BEFORE the vaccine is administered
Local animal emergency hospitals include:
Mason-Dixon Animal Emergency Hospital, (717) 432-6030, 96 Sofia Drive #203, Shrewsbury, PA 17361
Animal Emergency and Referral Center of York, (717) 767-5355, 1640 South Queen Street, York, PA 17403
Animal Emergency Hospital in Bel Air, (410) 420-7297, 722 Baltimore Pike, Bel Air, MD 21014
Pet+ER, (410) 252-8387, 10626 York Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Urgent Vet Care in Cockeysville, (443) 318-6500, 11121 York Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030
Reduce your risk of exposure to the rabies virus:
Get your pets vaccinated against rabies, and keep current on their revaccinations.
Stay away from wildlife, and keep children and pets away from wildlife.
Always walk your dogs on a leash to keep them from running after wildlife.
Deter wildlife from coming into your yard by eliminating possible food sources and keeping trash can lids tightly closed.
Do not keep wild animals as pets!
Report any strange behavior by wildlife or any bites by wildlife to your local animal control or health department (varies depending on state/county).
If you are bitten by a wild animal or stray dog or cat, wash the wound immediately, seek medical attention, and report the incident to your local animal control and/or health department.