Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic’s Blog

2016 Marks the 10th World Rabies Day, a Milestone in Rabies Prevention.

cp-dxrawuaa9x8tWorld Rabies Day is this month (WED, SEPTEMBER 28), and if your pet isn’t vaccinated for it yet, there is no better time than now! What is rabies you ask? It is a viral disease that can be transmitted through saliva; commonly a bite or scratch from one infected mammal to another. That’s right, I said “mammal,” not just a dog or cat. Rabies is a zoonotic disease which means that you can get it too.

The virus attacks the Central Nervous System causing severe neurological symptoms, ultimately causing the victim to die. According to the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, Rabies is one of the deadliest diseases on earth, with a 99.9% fatality rate once clinical symptoms appear. Although the fatality rate is high, there is a treatment for humans that works if you get it before symptoms start. It’s called post exposure prophylaxis, otherwise known as PEP. Aggression, drooling, staggering, and seizures are some symptoms that are observed in animals. Rabid wild animals may only exhibit unusual behavior.

Why should you vaccinate your pet for rabies? Every year hundreds of people are forced to do the PEP treatment due to potentially being exposed to rabies, which is costly and stressful. The best way for us to protect our friends and family is to vaccinate our pets since they are most likely to come in contact with wild animals. In every state, the law states every pet owner is to have their pet vaccinated for rabies.

“2016 marks the 10th World Rabies Day, a milestone in rabies prevention. Since it began in 2007, the rabies community have aligned to make World Rabies Day a global phenomenon. In that time, its life-saving rabies prevention messages have reached millions of people in over 100 different countries. This year’s theme is Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate.”  – World Health Organization

As a practice, Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic is teaming up with Washington State University (WSU) to raise funds toward helping to eliminate rabies from every country in the world. A portion of the revenue from every rabies vaccination given at our clinic will be donated towards resources and education. The WSU Rabies Vaccination Program team vaccinates an average of 300 dogs each day in east Africa. They visit 180 villages every year in seven districts adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. Because of the program, the vaccination zone – a cordon sanitaire – is rabies free. The goal is to use the rabies-free vaccination zone as a model in other parts of Africa and Asia.

Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate. Celebrate.

  • Post written by Sabrina – Veterinary Assistant at Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic

WorldVets – FVVC Team Members Travel to Honduras

This month brought a unique travel opportunity for our lead technician Christina, and one of our associate veterinarians, Dr. Weeks. They both participated as volunteers for WorldVets, a non-profit organization that operates field service projects (spay/neuter campaigns) throughout the world.

11070823_10152618986466571_1246095033338377754_nThe two describe their unique experience: “We traveled to Roatan, Honduras with a group of 15 people made up of veterinarians, technicians, and assistants. We performed a total of about 215 surgeries in only 3 days! It was such a rewarding experience to be able to provide those services to the dogs and cats in that developing country. The owners of the dogs and cats were so grateful to be able to bring their pet in for both a consultation with a veterinarian and surgery.”

The animals of the island of Roatan do not get much veterinary care, as they do not have access to the same type of facilities as we have here in the United States. Teamwork was essential to being able to operate with the high volume of patients! Many people would line up out the door at once, and even wait hours to get their pet spayed, neutered, or just get a consult with the veterinarian.

1450898_10152618986096571_8435643468189273910_nChristina notes, “We met many different people – they brought their cats in laundry baskets, pillow cases, blankets, and wrapped in leashes; dogs were led in by a multitude of different chains, strings, even fabric knotted together. A couple of smaller dogs hitched a ride home on a motorcycle once they woke up from surgery.”

It was eye-opening for our team members to see the different modes of transportation (many just walked to the clinic) and methods of leading their pets around. Some dogs were brought to the building and just left tied to a chair after being checked in.
Most of the dogs seen around the island seemed to wander the streets or in a close radius to their home, on the lookout for food, water, and wary of other people. Christina and Dr. Weeks could tell the local people cared deeply for their pets, but the limited veterinarian access showed in the pet’s status. Fleas and ticks were rampant, and skin disease was a common occurrence.

Christina reflects, “The experience made me grateful for the access we have up here to pet food, veterinary care, and the mild weather!”

Dr. Weeks Shares Her Travels to Peru as Part of World Vets

www.frontiervillagevet-1  In June, I had the honor and pleasure of traveling to Cusco, Peru with the non-profit group, World Vets. World Vets is an American organization that provides veterinary aid and disaster relief. The purpose of the trip was to run a high volume spay and neuter clinic. There are many areas of the world where pet overpopulation is a major problem. Cusco, in particular, is highly populated not only street dogs (and cats), but pets who run around without fences or leashes. To control the overpopulation, many municipalities have had to resort to poisoning the animals to control their numbers. Through World Vets’ work, some of these area have agreed to stop poisoning and start educating owners about the importance of sterilization, and animal health in general.

Of course, if you are traveling all the way to South America, it is a good idea to take some vacation time too. I spent my first four days hanging out in the Amazon Rainforest with a tour group. We slept in a treehouse overlooking a clay lick one night, where I was able to see the elusive tapir. We saw 6 kinds of monkeys, tarantula, scarlet macaw, blue and yellow macaw, and capybaras. I met some really cool fellow travelers and got to stretch my legs in the jungle. My last four days in country were spent in the Sacred Valley, exploring Incan salt pans, ruins, and small towns. The end of my vacation was, of course, capped off by a trip to Maccu Piccu and an intense hike up Wayna Piccu. This archeological site is so grand and so perfect that it doesn’t even feel real. For the record, I did NOT eat cuy (guinea pig).

However, the reason I was in Peru was to do some surgery and hopefully help some people in need. I met up with the World Vets group and was immediately taken by the general good feeling you get from working with a group of like-minded people. There were 7 veterinarians, 3 veterinary technicians, 4 veterinary students, and 3 assistants. We ran our clinic for 3.5 days. The first 3 days were in the municipality of San Jeronimo. On the fourth day, we worked out of a veterinary clinic in Cusco. While the goal was to do as many spays and neuters as possible, we were also able to do some teaching with the Peruvian veterinarians who were helping us and the veterinary students who were eager to learn and get their hands dirty. I remember how cool I felt when I did my first surgery so was glad give back to my profession by helping the students do theirs.www.frontiervillagevet-2

The clinic was run out of a community center. People were lined up when our van dropped us off. We felt like celebrities as everyone watched us get off the van and get our surgery tables set up. This was definitely a third world experience. We were doing surgery on desks with headlamps as our light source. The animals recovered in another room, which was really a bathroom. As soon as they woke up, they were sent home with their eagerly awaiting and nervous owners. People waited for hours for their pet to move through the line. The animals had to bring their own blankets for recovery. We sent as many people home with leashes as we could- the pink leashes that Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic sent with me were very popular! In general, people there don’t have leashes for their dogs. We ran into a few snags. When the sun went down, it got dark and we were finishing surgery with flashlights and rigged lamps. We ran out of supplies and the group leader had to run around town to find the gauze and suture we needed. Some of the clients got a little upset when they found out that a Peruvian veterinarian (and not an American one) might be doing surgery on their pet. However, in the end, we did 214 free surgeries in 3.5 days with no mortalities. The people were so kind, gracious and grateful. The mayor came one day to honor us at the clinic, then had us up to his office the next day to do so again. Best of all, they are no longer poisoning animals.

www.frontiervillagevetWe have it so good here in the United States and our veterinary care is so advanced. I don’t take that for granted. This trip was gratifying and fun in every way. I love doing surgery, and knowing I could use my skills to really make a difference in the world was life changing. It was such a wonderful reminder to me to be grateful for what I have. We are so lucky to have the ability to offer pets the quality of care that we can in America. World Vets is a great organization and I hope to go on more of their trips in the future.


Companion Animal Parasite Council CareCredit Trupanion American Veterinary Medical Association