[Felvtalk] Rabies Shots for Harley

Marsha martia at lynxe.com
Fri Aug 15 15:25:54 CDT 2014

Harley leaped into the air and knocked the bat down; it was stunned but 
quickly recovered and flew away. I never saw it again.  I'm not sure if 
it got back outside, or if it died in a hidden spot in the garage.  I 
looked for it and also watched Harley to see if he noticed where it 
went, but he didn't seem to know either.  I am going to be rearranging 
the garage in the next few weeks, so I will probably find it if it never 
got out.  But if it had died in the garage, I think it would have 
created a stink, or Harley would have found it, and either played with 
it, or ate it.  Rabies can be transmitted by eating the raw meat of a 
dead rabid animal, or handling the meat with bare hands if you have an 
open sore or cut.   Yes, it's true that only a small percentage of bats 
carry rabies - 1 to 4% or even less, depending on location and 
species.   A cat can't tell you whether it's been bitten, and even 
humans don't always know if they were asleep when they were bitten.  
Even awake, people don't always know, because bat teeth are so tiny and 
sharp that they don't always leave a mark.  A man in Monticello, MN died 
of rabies a few years back after shooing a bat out of his cabin.  He 
felt a sharp pain on his finger, but looked, and saw no blood or mark, 
and thought nothing more of it.  A month later, he developed symptoms of 
rabies, and a couple weeks after that he was dead.  It took a while to 
diagnose because it is so rare in the US that most doctors (99.9%) will 
never see a case.  Third world doctors are much more familiar with human 
cases (50,000 and more human fatalities a year in the rest of the world).

My plan with Harley is to vaccinate for rabies every 2-3 years or if I 
see a bat in the garage.  He will receive no other vaccinations, though 
he did have the distemper combo as a kitten. I also make sure I separate 
vaccinations (except the combo) so as not to hit his immune system with 
all at once.  When his FeLV begins to progress, he will no longer 
receive any vaccines at all.

Dumb thing about the calicivirus part of the combo - it doesn't protect 
against all strains of calicivirus!  A local vet posts an anonymous 
"case of the week" online for people to try to guess, and that's what a 
recent one was.  The cat was healthy and vaccinated, and was exposed to 
a different strain of it, and became extremely ill.

There is a soffit on the garage that needs to be repaired.  It's on my 
project list.  I should probably make it a higher priority, since it 
will soon be the time of year that a bat will want to seek shelter for 
the winter.  But I only ever saw that one bat in the garage.


On 8/15/2014 12:18 PM, Lee Evans wrote:
> The regular rabies shot actually lasts up to 3 years for immunity. Is 
> the bat still living in the garage with Harley? You should not 
> vaccinate him every year. It's not necessary. Not all bats have rabies 
> or carry rabies. If there are holes in the garage ceiling or rafters, 
> get someone to patch them up because bats do not usually fly in the 
> door. They will go for a dark hole high up. I once found a dead bat in 
> my yard, thought the cats had killed it and sent the body to rabies 
> control. The bat did not have rabies. However, I had all the yard cats 
> re-vaccinated for rabies. At that time, the vet told me that the 
> protection lasts about 3 years, even with the regular shot.

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