Vaccinate your pet against rabies

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a dog on a leash standing on a lawn
Author: A. Chomczyk

The spring weather favors outdoor activities and longer walks with pets. However, quadruped owners should remember that there are still cases of rabies in Masovia. The best way to protect your pet against the disease is vaccination.

In the Mazowieckie voivodship, further cases of rabies in animals were recorded, mainly among free-living foxes. Since the beginning of this year alone, there have been a total of 20 cases of the disease, 8 of which in the capital. Due to the growing number of detected infections, the Mazovian Governor issued a regulation expanding the area at risk of rabies. Currently, in Warsaw, it already encompasses 9 districts: Białołęka, Bielany, Praga-Południe, Praga-Północ, Rembertów, Targówek, Wawer, Wesoła and Wilanów.

Residents of the capital should be more vigilant in case of meeting a wild or injured animal on their way. Instead of taking any action on your own, notify the appropriate services. Foxes, hedgehogs, bats and other mammals can also be infected with rabies.

Vaccinations against rabies

Vaccination is the best protection against the disease. In Poland, this obligation applies to dogs over 3 months of age. The injection should be repeated at least every 12 months from the date of the last vaccination. From 31 December 2021, area at risk of rabies are also covered by an order to vaccinate cats, within 30 days from the date of a cat reaching 3 month of age, and then no more than 12 months from the date of the last vaccination. In other areas, rabies vaccinations of cats are recommended.

In order to prevent the disease from spreading, in the first half of April, the District Veterinarian in Warsaw conducted a vaccination campaign for free-roaming foxes. The vaccine along with a bait was lined by hand or dropped from planes into forests, meadows and fields. When taking pets out for walks, caregivers should be careful and keep their pets on a leash. The vaccine must not be touched, so residents who could come into contact with it should contact a doctor.

How to proceed in case of bite or scratch by a wild animal?

  1. thoroughly clean the injured area – wash the wound with warm soapy water, then thoroughly disinfect and bandage it (do not stop the bleeding prematurely, because blood can also purge the virus out of the wound),
  2. immediately report to the general practitioner or call an ambulance or 112 if there has been a bite by a wild animal, and it is not possible to undertake veterinary observation of the animal for rabies. Undergo vaccination against rabies,
  3. in case of being bitten by pets, it is necessary to determine the owner of the animal (name, surname, address of residence, possibly telephone contact), in order to report it for veterinary observation for rabies. If it is impossible to determine the owner of the pet, undergo rabies vaccination.