Rabies; Have you Vaccinated your Dog?
WORLD RABIES DAY; DID YOU KNOW?
Fact, not fear!
Rabies is a viral disease that is easily transmitted from mostly dogs to humans. Dogs are the most common carriers of the disease. Rabies is a disease of the third world countries and is majorly found in rural areas.
It is very important to talk about this because rabies kills close to 2000 people in Kenya today.
Apart from prevention, it costs 85$ to treat a patient who has been bitten by a dog but it costs only 2$ to vaccinate a dog. When it comes to treat a dog bite, you will require to treat for a number of doses; dose 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
So is rabies a disease of the poor? The dog is a reservoir for the disease and in Kenya, we are not able to vaccinate even 70% of the total number of dogs in our country.
For the next three years, dogs should be vaccinated after every year. Once your puppy, reaches the age of receiving the vaccine, you should continuously do it annually and receive a vaccination certificate.
- What about stray dogs?
70 percent of the total number of dogs are owned by Kenyans today while 30 percent do not have homes.
- What should we do to contain our dogs?
Be responsible! Stray Dogs are mostly found in garbage-infested areas. If our environment is clean, then we will not have stray dogs.
- What about the law?
The rabies act requires that we vaccinate our dogs. A long time ago, in Makueni, once dogs were vaccinated, they would receive a collar and a certificate to the owner.
- Do I need to take my dog to a vet?
Owners have a wide option. In urban or rural options, veterinary officers are available to vaccinate our dogs from either the owner’s homes or from easily accessible rural areas.
- Are there other animals that can contract rabies?
Any other mammal can contract rabies when exposed to it through a bite. The solution would be to vaccinate before showing clinical signs. Once the mammal starts showing clinical signs, there will be no cure.
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- What should I do when bitten by a dog with rabies?
Once bitten by a dog, wash the bite wound with running water for 15 minutes to prevent effects of rabies then seek help of a medical officer.
Rabies awareness is very important. Do your part in the fight against rabies today!