Rabies is a virus that infects the central nervous system and causes disease in the brain. Rabies is passed from infected mammals to humans. It is usually passed through the bite of a rabid animal. It is most always fatal once symptoms appear. Human rabies is rare in the United States.
All mammals, including humans can get rabies. In Wisconsin, skunks and bats are the most likely to carry the rabies virus, but it sometimes occurs in dogs, cats, foxes, raccoons and livestock.
Signs and Symptoms of Rabies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
If a rabies vaccine is recommended, three more vaccines are needed after the first visit. Finish the vaccine series to be fully protected from rabies.
If you have insurance, call your clinic for a care plan.
If you do not have insurance:
People do not need to be vaccinated for rabies unless they are exposed to the virus. One of the best ways to protect against rabies is to make sure dogs and cats are current on their rabies vaccines. When your pets are vaccinated, they're protected against getting rabies from a rabid animal, and they can't transmit rabies to you or others.
Getting dogs and cats vaccinated is their best protection against the rabies virus. Dogs and cats should be vaccinated when they are five months old, a year later, and then every 1 to 3 years for the rest of their life. Vaccination shots do not last the lifetime of your pet. In Wisconsin, all dogs are required to be vaccinated and in Madison, cats must also be vaccinated.
Keep wild and unfamiliar animals away from your pets.