In India, if you are a proud owner of a dog, then you are mandated by law to vaccinate your pooch against rabies, as not only does it protect your beloved fur-child, but also other animals and humans as well if they ever scratch or bite them.
Rabies Vaccine for Dogs Cost in India
As of 2021, rabies vaccination has become affordable for dogs, and once vaccinated your dogs don’t require any additional medicine for rabies for at least 3 years. Dogs are administered 5 shots during their puppyhood, and if they have been bitten by other animals that were infected with rabies then 7 shots are required. Each shot cost about Rs. 500, therefore, you are looking for Rs. 2,000 for rabies vaccination.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a disease that is found in most animals like bats, raccoons, foxes, and of course, dogs. It is a fatal disease but can be prevented easily. Rabies is present in the animals’ saliva and is transmitted if you are bitten by such animal, even if you are scratched, rabies could be transmitted. Once a person or animal contracts rabies, it starts to affect the nervous system and can lead to various brain diseases, which ultimately lead to death. Hence, it becomes necessary to vaccinate your dog.
History of Rabies
Surprisingly, the history of rabies dates back to 3,000 B.C. and its earliest written records, which were from the Mosaic Esmuna Code of Babylon in 2300 B.C., have been found that state that Babylonians had to pay a fine if their dog infects a person with rabies.
Since modern medicine had not been evolved yet, people used to perform barbaric acts to cure this disease. A Roman scholar suggested that holding a person underwater cures them of rabies, if they didn’t drown to death, they were dead with rabies. Other cures included burning the wound with a hot poker or even ingesting the hair of the dog. Safe to say, none of them worked. Furthermore, madstones were thought to be miraculous healing objects that would cure rabies, these are clumps of hairs that are found in ruminants’ stomachs. Madstones become a prized possession in the 18th century, were passed down to generations, and it is even said that their value was equal to jewels.
The actual cure or treatment for this disease came about in the 1880s. When a French chemistry teacher named, Louis Pasteur was experimenting with chicken cholera, when he noticed that the virulent cultures exposed to elements no longer caused disease. He saw that the chickens that were given a weaker strain became immune to disease when they were injected with fresh virulent culture. Pasteur’s had a similar result against anthrax in cattle, and after that, he finally turned his attention to rabies, though he said he needed to purify his strain before using it on himself, an incident led him to put his vaccine into practice. In 1885, Joseph Meister, a 9-year-old boy was attacked by a rabid dog. Joseph was taken to a local doctor, where his wounds were treated, but he told the family that Louis Pasteur is their only hope. After consulting with a group of doctors, Pasteur agreed to treat Joseph, where Joseph received 13 inoculations in 11 days and was fully recovered. Within the next decade, over 200,000 were given this vaccine. Tuckahoe
Shortage of Anti-Rabies Vaccine
Dog bites are the prime reason for rabid deaths in India and account for 36% of rabid deaths worldwide each year. It is safe to assume that it is because of the shortage of the vaccine, however, what’s surprising is that India actually manufactures a higher number of this vaccine than any other country. The annual demand is about 48 million ARVs, and India produces 50 million ARVs, so what’s the problem?
Exporting is the main issue that hinders the availability of vaccines in India. About 30% of the annual vaccines produced are exported to other nations, which leaves India with a shortage of 13 million ARVs. Furthermore, the import of ARVs is also banned.
Plan of Eradication
Seeing an increase in unnecessary deaths, the Indian government led to the formation of the first Rabies Awareness Summit in October 2020. It proposed, along with WHO, the eradication of rabies by the year 2030. According to experts, the only way to achieve this is by awareness and making people understand that rabies is a serious disease, along with vaccinating and sterilizing stray dogs, which wouldn’t be an easy task to accomplish as there are estimated 40 million stray dogs in India. Additionally, some authorities are trying to make rabies vaccination affordable, as the high cost is one reason why most people avoid inoculations. Sadly, the entire Indian government isn’t on the same page, as it takes a low priority.