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Rabies (Lyssa) ICD-9 071; ICD-10 A82
Related Topics: Oral Rabies Vaccine Programs

Rabies Vaccination Requirements

The state of Texas requires that dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age. The vaccination must be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Additionally, when traveling with a dog or cat, have in your possession a rabies vaccination certificate that was signed by the veterinarian who administered the vaccination. Check with your veterinarian about other vaccines that are available for a wide range of diseases in these animals. 

For an animal to be considered currently vaccinated against rabies in rabies exposure situations, at least 30 days must have elapsed since the initial vaccination and the time elapsed since the most recent vaccination must not have exceeded the recommended interval for booster vaccination as established by the manufacturer. Local jurisdictions may require more frequent rabies vaccination intervals.

All dogs and cats 12 weeks of age or older that are being transported into Texas must have been vaccinated against rabies and not be overdue. Proof of vaccination must be provided via a rabies vaccination certificate (or pet passport) signed by the attending veterinarian. Veterinarians in Texas are restricted to using vaccines approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); however, for entry purposes only, dogs and cats traveling into the state from another country may be inoculated against rabies with killed, modified live, or recombinant vaccine. Once in Texas, if a USDA-approved vaccine was not used or the veterinarian who administered it was not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in the United States, compliance must be achieved. 

Although not required by law, it is recommended that livestock (especially those that have frequent contact with humans), domestic ferrets, and wolf-dog hybrids be vaccinated against rabies. Again, check with your veterinarian about other available vaccines for these animals.

Additional information is also available:
Details on dog and cat entry requirements
Texas Administrative Code with rabies vaccination requirements