Home & Garden

Rabies clinics offer affordable vaccinations

Macon-Bibb County 4-H is hosting a rabies clinic Sept. 19. The affordable rabies vaccination will only cost $10 per pet. The mobile rabies clinic will be at five different locations across the county.

8-8:45 a.m.: Rutland ACE Hardware, 6173 Houston Road

9:15-10 a.m.: Skyview Elementary, 5700 Fulton Mill Road

10:30-11:15 a.m.: Sonny Carter Elementary, 5910 Zebulon Road

12:15-1 p.m.: St. Paul AME Church, 2501 Shurling Drive

1:30-2:15 p.m.: Alexander II Magnet School, 1156 College St.

Georgia law requires that dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Since the 1940s, the number of humans contracting rabies has significantly declined because of rabies vaccinations and control programs.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the last 100 years, rabies in the United States has changed dramatically. More than 90 percent of all animal cases reported annually to the CDC now occur in wildlife; before 1960 the majority were in domestic animals.

Vaccinations have practically eliminated the domestic dog as a reservoir of rabies. Implementing a vaccination program also has lead to the development of an effective human rabies vaccination and rabies immune globulin.

Rabies is a viral infection that is spread through the saliva of infected animals. It is able to infect most mammals. The virus affects the central nervous system of a host, causing symptoms such as convulsions and paralysis. Rabies almost always is fatal in infected animals.

Because it is easily spread through saliva, the virus is commonly spread from wild animals to household pets by means of a bite. However, bites are not the only means of transmission. Rabies also has been known to spread by other animal contact, such as scratches.

Common carriers of the virus in the wild are raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats.

To further prevent rabies, follow these recommendations:

Keep pets indoors, in a fenced yard, or on a leash when outdoors.

Do not leave uncovered garbage or pet food outside.

Stay away from wild, sick, hurt or dead animals.

Do not keep wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and wolves as pets.

Teach your children not to go near, tease or play with wild animals or strange dogs and cats.

Register and license your pets. This will help track the vaccination history of your animal, in the event that the animal bites or scratches someone.

Bibb County 4-H is providing the mobile rabies clinic as a service to our community. For many people, the cost of the rabies vaccine in addition to the cost of the office visit is a limiting factor.

It is our hope that the 4-H Rabies Clinic’s convenient locations and affordable vaccines will help families fulfill their responsibilities as pet owners without putting a strain on their wallets.

For more information, call the Bibb County Cooperative Extension Office at 478-751-6338, or e-mail pahill@uga.edu.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Master Gardeners of Central Georgia Fall Garden Plant Sale: Noon-5 p.m. Sept. 24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 25 and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 26, State Farmers Market, 2055 Eisenhower Parkway. Master Gardeners also will be available to answer gardening questions. Free admission and parking. For more information, e-mail askamg@mgcg.org or call 478-751-6338.

Contact writer Karol Kelly at karolk@uga.edu.

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