Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
From Arizona to Tunisia, veterinary professionals and public health officials will participate in hundreds of events in recognition of World Rabies Day on Sept. 28.
The annual program, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, is designed to raise public awareness about the danger of rabies and the importance of vaccination.
“Vaccinating our pets and animals is the best way to protect them and the public from contracting what is almost always a fatal disease once symptoms occur,” said AVMA President John Howe, DVM. “By taking this simple step, you’re helping to not just protect your pets and animals, but to protect your family, community, other animals and people.”
Rabies kills 59,000 people a year, the AVMA reported.
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control is registering and promoting World Rabies Day events at http://bit.ly/2leC1lz and providing an event organizer toolkit at http://bit.ly/2muUPNj. Among the scheduled events are free vaccinations of dog and cats in Chinle, Arizona, which is home to the Navajo Nation, and the mass, monthlong vaccination of dogs across Tunisia.
One way to ensure that pets are vaccinated against rabies is to get them to a veterinary clinic, Dr. Howe said.
“AVMA research shows that cats go to the veterinarian for exams and vaccinations far too infrequently compared to dogs,” he said. “Our most recent data shows that over 45% of cat-owning households didn’t visit the veterinarian in the past year, whereas less than 20% of dog-owning households fell into the same category.
“Pet owners owe it to themselves and their pets to make sure that we do all we can to prevent the spread of rabies.”