There is growing interest in rabies vaccination, especially in areas at risk for this disease, data from the Provincial Veterinary Officer shows. The preparation received 20 thousand. more dogs than the year before and six times more cats.
Even in 2020, vaccinating cats against rabies in Masovia was a rarity. For example, in the entire Garwolin district, only 31 cats were protected in this way, in Warsaw about 1,500. The rabies epidemic that broke out in Masovia in 2021 changed everything. The number of vaccinated animals is growing dynamically, especially in regions at risk of disease.
The areas at risk of disease are in the northeast districts of Warsaw and the left bank Wilanów, as well as the poviats of Otwock, Garwolin, Kozienice, Radom, the city of Radom, Zwoleń, Wołomin, Szydłowiec and part of Minsk.
Last year we have a total of 110 cases of rabies in animals not only those living in the wild, but also at home, incl. cats – informed Konstanty Radziwiłł, Voivode of Mazovia.
From December 31, 2021, in accordance with the voivode regulation, an order to vaccinate cats against rabies will be in force in the animal rabies risk area. The first vaccination should be done within 30 days from the day the cat is 3 months old and then at least every 12 months from the date of the last vaccination.
We also need to remember that rabies vaccination in dogs is mandatory everywhere, and it is recommended for cats in other areas – the voivode recently remembered when it turned out that in 2022, 22 cases of the disease were already confirmed.
Some dog and cat owners took the matter seriously. In the Otwock poviat, one of the most endangered dogs of 2020 was vaccinated in 2020, and already 15328 in 2021. In the capital itself, the number of vaccinations has not increased that much, but according to vets this may be due to the fact that dogs from the big city were already a well-vaccinated group.
The mandatory vaccination of cats is a real revolution. The effects of introducing mandatory vaccinations are already being noticed by district vets who are recording all these facts.
We don’t have the latest data yet, but we are getting signals from vets that cat owners flocked to the offices – said the Veterinary Inspector for Animal Health and Control of Infectious Diseases Sylwia Popiołek-Kobylarz of the Provincial Veterinary Inspectorate in Siedlce. At the same time she said that About 8,700 cats were vaccinated last year, compared to more than 2,000 in 2020. After the command of the voivode, the increase will be not four, but probably a dozen times.
However, estimates show that up to several hundred thousand cats may live in the areas at risk of rabies. Both domestic and free-living, which are not subject to mandatory vaccinations, and the risk of disease in their case is greatest.
We had the most interest in vaccinations a few weeks ago, right after the RCB’s rabies risk warning was sent out – says veterinarian Ewa Piskorowska, who works in Grochów in Warsaw. At the time, even a dozen pet owners visited her office every day. According to her, the obligation to vaccinate is very sensible, because even a cat that does not go outside can come into contact with a bat or sneak into the garden.
Remember that rabies is a 100% fatal disease and the vaccine against it is one of the most effective and well known vaccinations. – explains. He adds that it even works post factum. If our pet has had “suspicious contacts”, it is best to vaccinate him quickly.
Doctor Piskorowska also debunks the myth of rabies.
A visible bite is not required for infection. Since the rabies virus settles in the nerve endings, it is literally enough to squeeze it – say. He adds that vets hope the RCB alarm will be repeated soon.