Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Rabies is around in the Philippines, so anyone bitten by a strange dog gets a series of shots.

Our dogs get their rabies shots, so usually we just reassured those bitten by George, the Killer Lab, but once tiny PuffPuff bit the massage therapist treating Joy, and his shots were out of date, so we had to pay for treatment.

No, I never saw a case in Africa: The protocol there was to go to an area, give all the dogs their rabies shots and paint their rumps, and then put out fresh meat and have a sniper shoot any dog without a paint jobs. After independence, alas, when bullets and snipers got expensive, some countries ended up with epidemics.

Here in the Philippines, the vets go to rural area to give the dogs the shots, and locals kill stray dogs. The local clinic will arrange for you to get the shots at a minimum cost, or you can pay 20 dollars  to buy the vaccine at the pharmacy and give the shots yourself.

In the USA, however, bat bites are a major cause of rabies. I once blew the budget of a small local township where I worked after a young girl got bitten by a bat when she opened a pantry door. Since bats don't usually attack, we had to assume it was rabid.

Nowadays, the regimine is anti globulin and three shots of the vaccine. Back then, it was 24 shots of the shot 12 she was getting local reactions and we started running out of places to give the shots. Ouch.

Cats also can carry rabies, as can racoons.
I remember when we had an outbreak and had to get the cats rabies shots: we took three cats in our cat carrier, and they got lose. Catfight!

Rabies is fatal. Usually you keep them comfortable with deep sedation until they die. So if you are traveling to a high risk area, or might be in contact with rabid animals, you are advised to get the shot.

But a few cases of people who had never been vaccinated beforehand have lived. LINK LINK

treatment is inducing a coma and using a breathing machine, while giving rabies globulin and anti virals. Even with this very expensive treatment, few live.


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