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Why It's Time to Rethink Rabies

Why It's Time to Rethink Rabies

How often do you think about rabies in your practice?

No, I don’t mean every time you vaccinate a dog, cat, ferret, or horse (you get the idea), but I mean, really think about rabies as a differential diagnosis? Probably not that often. Thanks to robust efforts in vaccination campaigns and feral dog control, the United States has eliminated the canine rabies variant.

However, with more than a million dogs imported to the US from foreign countries each year, shouldn’t we worry?  The correct answer is yes!  And the antidote for that worry is knowledge and action!  The importation of dogs, whether by someone for breeding purposes, as a pet, or to resell through adoption, should be regulated with appropriate and profound disease control measures, especially for rabies.

Roughly 60,000 people die globally from rabies every year and most of those are children age 4-15 yrs old. Discuss rabies with your staff and with your clients and let’s do all we can to prevent the importation of rabid dogs - no matter how well-intentioned the importer!

In related news, the state of Indiana is taking steps to protect dogs and humans in their state with a bill to require proof of rabies vaccination for dogs imported into their state. What a great first step, Hoosiers!

Follow the link below to the bill text and more information.

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