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Dog rabies cases in Cebu City ‘alarming’; City Vet calls out irresponsible pet owners

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 06,2024 - 09:01 AM

Dog rabies cases in Cebu City 'alarming'; City Vet calls out irresponsible pet owners

Pet owners bring their dogs to Plaza Independencia, Cebu City to avail of the free anti-rabies vaccination in this June 25, 2016. [FILE PHOTO]

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The City Veterinary Office (CVO) is calling all the “irresponsible” pet owners to have their dogs vaccinated after Cebu City observed an “alarming” number of dog rabies cases from January to June 2024.

Utlang said on Wednesday that in 2023, the city recorded 17 rabies cases for the entire year.


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However, this year, they recorded 14 cases as of June 5 already. Utlang said that this number was already “alarming” considering that December was still months away.

“Moingon ko nga alarming. Mao na nga ang ato gyung gihangyo ang mga tag-iya sa iro nga ang ilang iro pabakubahan nila. Mo contact lang gyud sila sa ilang barangay kay kada barangay naa na tay trained vaccinator,” Utlang added.

(I am saying that this is alarming. That is why I am appealing to dog owners to have their dogs vaccinated. They would only need to contact their barangay because there are trained vaccinators in every barangay.)

Based on the initial data, these cases can be found in 11 barangays in Cebu City. Ten of these have a single case of dog rabies while only Lahug recorded the highest number which is four.

The other barangays that have one case are Mabolo, Basak San Nicolas, Tisa, Cogon Pardo, Bulacao, Carreta, Tinago, Barrio Luz, Ermita, and Zapatera.

One of the factors that Utlang attributed to the rise of cases was the impounding.


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Utlang said that if those vaccinated dogs on the streets, that are considered the “first line of defense” get impounded, no one would be able to fight against mad dogs.

“Kung naay irong boang nga nisulod [sa balay] unya gipaak pero vaccinated, dili maboang. Ang katong boang nga iro mao ray mamatay,” Utlang said.

(Because of the mad dog will enter [a house] and another dog bites it but it is vaccinated then it will not go mad, only the mad dog will die.)

Most of the positive cases were bitten by house dogs or those dogs who are under human care.

Less impounding, issuance of citation tickets

This was why Utlang said that they would now “fully implement” less impounding. They will now only impound those dogs who really needed to be impounded, especially if they were abandoned.

Moreover, they will also strengthen the vaccination drive in each barangay in Cebu City against rabies.

“Katong mga tag-as og kaso sa rabies ug naay kaso sa rabies, among i-encourage nga 80 percent jud sa population, kinahanglan mabakunahan,” Utlang said.

(Those where rabies cases are high and there are cases of rabies, we will encourage that 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated.)

She said that the World Health Organization (WHO) in their guidelines that if 80 percent of the dog population would be vaccinated against rabies, the surge of cases would be controlled.

Another intervention that they would implement is to issue citation tickets to those irresponsible pet owners.

“Naay ilang iro pasuroy-suroyon unya maayo og bakunado. Og way bakuna, ang multa ana P2,000 man, ako nang ipa-full implement,” Utlang said.

(There are dogs whom they will allow to roam and they will have these vaccinated. And if they are not vaccinated, the fine for that is P2,000, we will have that fully implemented.)

Moreover, Utlang said that they did not lack on reminding the pet owners to vaccinate their dogs, but there are still who are “hard headed” that until now, their pets remain unvaccinated.

Utlang said that most of these barangays also recorded cases in the previous year and that is why the barangay health centers are also conducting “door-to-door” vaccination campaigns.

Get your dogs vaccinated

The City Vet also urged all the dog owners to have their pets vaccinated against anti-rabies to avoid paying a penalty of P2,000.

The owners can ask representatives from their barangay for appointments so that they don’t have to go to the barangay health center.

“Ang gobyerno naa gyuy gibuhat. Kung mangutana og naa bay bakuna sa iro, ang Cebu City Government naa. Ang problema sila, so ang atong gihangyo sa mga kaigsuonan nga kung wala pa nabakunahi inyong mga iro, tawag mo sa inyong mga barangay kay naay mo house to house,” Utlang said.

(The government is doing something. If you ask if there are vaccines for the dog, the Cebu City government has. The problem is them, so we are appealing to our brothers and sisters if they have not yet vaccinated their dogs, let them call the barangay because there are people who would go from house to house for this.)

She added that when the dog would get positive for rabies, the penalty would be P5,000.

“Kung mahimo, dili nila pasuroy-suroyon, ang ilang iro ug pagawson. Kung mugawas man gani ilang iro, make sure nga bakunado na,” Utlang said.

(If it can be done, they should not let their dogs roam

Dogs aged three months can already get vaccinated.

The vaccine will take effect 21 days after the inoculation, Utlang added. Therefore, she advised the pet owners to wait 21 days before they let their dogs go outside.

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TAGS: Cebu City Veterinary Office, rabies

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