By Portia Williams
GREENUP, Ky. – The Greenup County Health Department is hosting a rabies vaccination clinic to vaccinate more pets against the deadly disease. GCHD will host the clinic on Saturday, June 14 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the health department.
According GCHD, Kentucky law requires all cats, dogs, and ferrets over the age of four months to be vaccinated for rabies. Cassie Mace, Health Educator at the GCHD, rabies has the potential to impact all members of a family.
“Rabies can threaten all members of the family, including pets,” Mace said. “When untreated, rabies in humans is almost always fatal. However, it is also 100 percent preventable. This underscores the critical need for community members to take the appropriate steps to prevent and control rabies.”
The GCHD rabies vaccination clinic will offer the Rabies vaccine for dogs and cats over four months old. One year vaccine is five dollars and a three year booster is fifteen dollars. Dogs can receive a distemper vaccine for $25 dollars. Toe nail clipping will also be offered for$10 dollars a dog or $15 for cats.
This event is open to the public and participants do not have to be a resident of Greenup County.
A rabies tag and certificate will be issued on site as proof of vaccination.
Although the majority of rabies cases occur in wildlife, most humans are exposed to the virus as a result of an encounter with an infected domestic animal. Keeping pets, including cats and dogs, up-to-date on vaccinations, is a primary means of helping to prevent rabies in humans and domestic animals.
Paul Hunt, public health services coordinator/public information officer for GCHD, said rabies is a regional problem.
“This is a regional problem. There has always been, and continues to be instances of rabies and they do turn up most often in animals such as raccoons and bats. As our favorite dogs and cats are outside playing, you never know when they might get into a scuffle with a wild creature that may be infected with rabies. So it is always better to have them protected,” Hunt said.
Hunt also said they will offer a vaccine for the Distemper virus which is spread through the air by an infected animal, initially attacks a dog’s tonsils and lymph nodes. Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The disease affects dogs, and certain species of wildlife, such as raccoon’s, wolves, foxes, and skunks. Distemper is a class of virus related to the measles virus in humans. Young, un-vaccinated puppies and non-immunized dogs tend to be more susceptible to the disease.
The virus moves on to attack the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Death may occur two to five weeks after initial infection.
“We really want to highlight the availability of the Distemper virus vaccine, because the last couple of years local veterinarians have seen an upswing in cases of Distemper for the dogs. This is very important, which is one of the reasons that we wanted to include it,” he said.
For additional information on the rabies clinic, please call the Greenup County Health Department at 606-473-9838.