By Rey Anthony Chiu | 09:12 PM February 13, 2023
Do the math.
If only pet owners take a little of their time to be responsible in making sure their dogs get vaccinated and properly taken care of, there would be so much savings, that could go to other community priorities.
A dog owner can get his dog vaccinated for a little less than P 50, while he can be responsible for some P10K, to P25K in penalties, plus shouldering the medical expenses incurred and other incidental expenses relative to the victim’s injuries.
He may still spend a little if his biting dog is vaccinated, but that is relatively measly compared to the trouble of having unvaccinated animal best friend.
This as the issue on responsible pet ownership wags its tail as rabies and dog-triggered road accidents hound the province.
Nurse Polizena Rances said during the recent Kapihan sa PIA which brought out to the public the critical information hinted that the government is bankrolling the purchase of anti-rabies shots and the victims undergoing the of rabies treatment regimen that forces them to travel to the animal bite treatment center (ABTCs) four times to be inoculated of the vaccine to stop the rabies virus from getting to the brain.
Rabies virus is almost always carried by a rabid dog saliva and blood and can get to humans by animal bites or by possibly ingesting the virus from dog meat.
In fact, according to the Provincial health Office, they have seen a suspected rabies case where a bite victim showed signs of the disease 15 years after he was bitten by a dog.
While there is no approved treatment for rabies once the symptoms have manifested in the victim, health authorities assert the need for most immediate procedure to arrest the spread of the virus and kill it before it can get to the victim’s brain.
As the virus gets to the victim’s brain, it is always a certain horrible death: body pains, weakness and discomfort, fever, headache progressing to cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, confusion, agitation, delirium, abnormal behavior, hallucinations, hydrophobia and photophobia and insomnia leading to death within 2-10 days after the symptoms of rabies appears.
A treatment for rabies, in post bite treatment means thousands of pesos, the hassle of undergoing four doses of injections: on the day of the biting, on the third day, on the seventh day and on the 28th day, plus the cost of immuno-globulins, Rances said.
On the other hand, as 90% of rabies cases are caused by dog bites, a dog vaccinated against rabies would only cost roughly P30.00, with the vaccine vial for 10 shots costing less than P500.
Meanwhile, if a place has 70% or more of their dog population vaccinated against rabies, it should keep the entire dog population safe, adds Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, during the one-hour radio forum.
In the recent years, Bohol has accomplished less than 50% vaccination of its dog population, to which both Rances and Lapiz pinpoint as the cause why there is a sudden surge in human and animal rabies cases here in the recent years.
Rances said, data from the 16 ABTCs in Bohol showed that in the last three years, there were 51,171 reported dog bite incidents reaching treatment, and 15 of these cases ended up with victims dying while manifesting the symptoms.
On the other hand, in these biting incidents, when local authorities were able to harvest 85 heads of the biting animals and sent to the national laboratories for rabies analysis and confirmation, 14 of them have turned positive for rabies, reports Dr. Lapiz. (rahc/PIA_7/Bohol)