A pet that is worth loving is a pet worth vaccinating.
This is the message that all local veterinarians want to get out to the community.
With the alarming number of confirmed cases of rabies in South Africa at the moment families would do well to give up a cappuccino and a muffin at their favourite coffee shop for each pet, and rather spend the money on peace of mind.
The cash-strapped Department of Veterinary Services in SA has decided to offer free vaccinations to animals only in areas where rabies has been reported. Potchefstroom is not yet one of them.
A special report by the department describes rabies as “the deadliest of all diseases” particularly because of the horrific manner in which the disease manifests itself in its victims.
The price tag of R70 therefore, seems to be small, given the peace of mind in knowing your pet and family are safe.
Rabies vaccination is compulsory by law in South Africa, because the entire country has been declared rabies endemic. Pets must be vaccinated at least once every three years.
Veterinary Services is very concerned that growing dog populations, particularly of the stray variety, coupled with the disintegration of veterinary rabies control, have led to the re-emerging status of rabies on the continent. Rabies infection is fatal in all species and is responsible for between ten and thirty confirmed deaths among humans every year.
SA regulations require all dogs and cats to be immunised at the age of three months, followed by a second vaccination within 12 months, and every three years after that. Vaccinations should be done by an officer, veterinarian or authorised person.