World 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