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Rabies is a disease caused by the rabies virus. It is very important to speak to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.
Many kinds of animals can pass rabies to people. You can protect your pet and yourself by keeping your pet's rabies vaccination up-to-date. This requirement is important not only to keep your pet(s) from getting rabies, but also to provide a barrier of protection for you, if your animal is bitten by a rabid wild animal.
In Iowa, rabies vaccines are good for (3) years if the vaccine is updated before the initial rabies vaccine expires; after expiration only a (1) year rabies vaccine can be given.
As stated by the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association "An initial rabies vaccine should be boostered in one year. At that point, Iowa law follows the manufacturer's recommendation for booster vaccination. If a 3 year vaccine is administered, the vaccine should be boostered prior to the 3 year expiration date. There are no studies available that indicate duration of immunity after administering a vaccine to a dog that has passed the 3 year expiration date. Therefore, because rabies is a zoonotic disease and nearly 100% fatal when contracted by humans, Iowa Department of Agriculture rules require a booster vaccine in one year if the 3 year vaccine has expired. The subsequent booster vaccine would expire in 3 years if a 3 year approved product is used."