The 28th of September is World Rabies Day.
Most people think of Rabies as being this incredibly rare and ‘unlikely to encounter disease’ – more akin to the bubonic plague, but unfortunately there are instances of rabies deaths in South Africa every year, and sadly it’s generally children who succumb.
Rabies is entirely preventable, but the responsibility to help eradicate this highly infectious disease, does rest with us as pet owners. Remember that it is not just dogs that carry the disease. Cats too can carry the virus.
Any dog bite or cat scratch from an animal that you don’t know its medical history, should be treated with the utmost of seriousness.
Rabies in domestic dogs has been eliminated in many first world countries, but unfortunately South Africa does still see cases. There have been 5 reported case in 2018 alone. It is only through the systematic approach to preventative vaccinations, that the disease can be eliminated.
Puppies should generally be vaccinated at the age of 4 months, and again at 1 year of age; thereafter every 3 years. In case there was any doubt in your mind as to whether this is something you wanted to do, the vaccination of cats and dogs against rabies, is required by law in South Africa.
As a country, we are trying to eliminate the disease entirely by 2030.
If you haven’t yet had your pet vaccinated against rabies, then there is no better time than the month of September.