What is the Dog Vaccination Law in Missouri?

By Dr. Melissa Nelson

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In Missouri, as in most states, the only dog vaccination that the law addresses is rabies. This disease, which is always fatal, can be passed on to humans and poses a public health threat.

Carriers Of Rabies

Most dogs and many cats routinely receive vaccinations against the rabies virus. In Missouri, wild animals--particularly bats and skunks--do carry the virus.

How Rabies Is Spread

The bite of a rabies-infected animal will infect a dog. Open wounds that come in contact with saliva from an infected animal can also be a way for the rabies virus to enter the body.

Regulation

In Missouri, rabies vaccination law is left up to the local authorities. They will determine how often the dog should receive the rabies vaccination. Only a veterinarian can administer a rabies vaccine.

Legal Issues

If an unvaccinated dog bites a person, the dog can be killed to be tested for rabies. The owner may be liable for any medical expenses the bitten person incurs along with the cost of the human rabies vaccine.

Other Vaccinations

Other dog vaccinations are not governed by state or local law in Missouri. These vaccinations are left to the discretion of the owner and veterinarians.

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