There are many people who believe vaccines aren't important; whether for themselves, their children, or pets. The following is an article that explains the importance of keeping your pets current on their vaccines. (Contains graphic material)
Anti-Pet Vaccination Trend Spurns Rabies Outbreak In Orange County
The anti-vaccination trend which has spawned the current measles epidemic amongst US children is also reportedly at blame for an equally terrifying outbreak leaving Orange County pet owners in a panic. The county has been the host of an explosive rabies scare after hundreds of residents have refused to follow through with keeping their pets current on their vaccines.
Patient zero is a golden retriever named "Buddy", owned by the Quinn's of Los Alamitos, California. The owners, who traveled frequently with their canine companion, stopped vaccinating their pet two years ago after reading propaganda that indicated vaccinations could cause serious health issues, including cancer.
At some point earlier this year during a trip through Arizona, it is believed that Buddy came in to contact with the Rabies virus."He was lost for a period of time while camping. When we found him it looked like he had been in a scrap with some other animal. He had alot of tiny scratches and abrasions around the face and eyes. We thought nothing of it at the time, we were simply happy to have our Buddy back", the Quinns said.
When they returned to California they immediately took their dog to a local dog park. It is here that the virus is believed to have been spread.Although Buddy was not yet exhibiting any symptoms of infection, the insidious rabies was already running it's course throughout his body.
DVM Daniel Yost, the veterinarian who was in charge of Buddy's subsequent necropsy after the outbreak manifested, elaborates. "Rabies is a highly contagious virus. We have observed a change in attitude when it comes to vaccinating pets in Orange County.Many owners decline (vaccines) despite the obvious risks and now we are seeing the consequences roll in. Essentially, with Buddy's case, we have a dog who arrives infected to a dog park where several other un-vaccinated animals are also playing. He not only interacts with several other animals but he also urinates, defecates and drinks water from a communal style watering system which becomes contaminated with his saliva. Even after Buddy left the park, any other un-vaccinated animal entering the park could potentially become infected.These infected animals, in turn, infect other un-vaccinated animals and now we have the catastrophic situation unfolding that you see now."
Mrs Quinn arrived home from work a week later to find a horrific scene. "When I got home from work and opened the door to our flat, ... Buddy had killed our two cats. Buddy was in the kitchen cowering, all wide eyed in the corner, sopping wet with blood. When he saw me he lunged forward, I barely made it out the door." Shortly after the police were summoned, and they shot Buddy. A veterinary diagnostic team performed a necropsy where it was discovered that Buddy had been infected with the deadly rabies virus.
The Quinns had to hire a bio hazard unit to decontaminate their living space. They are also having to undergo a series of painful injections to treat their own exposure to the virus.
It has been revealed that 28 people have had to euthanize their pets following exposure. DVM Yost recommended the following steps be taken to contain the outbreak, "Vaccinate your animals immediately. If they have had exposure to any other animals or dog parks, I would recommend a two week period of quarantine for observation. Unfortunately, infection can only be determined after necropsy which involves decapitation and analysis of the infected animal's brain tissue. "
Please call if you have any questions or need to check on your pet's vaccine status.