June 07, 2009

Update: Bell County TX Reviews Its Review of Annual Rabies Shots

Never underestimate the power of media glare to get public officials back pedaling. After television and widespread newspaper coverage, Bell County officials are on the defensive about why they blew off public appeals to align the local rabies laws with state and national guidelines.

The rabies vaccine issue only appeared on the radar of county commissioners May 25 when it was addressed for the first time publicly. Each commissioner had received an e-mail questioning the county policy.


The item was discussed for only about five minutes with the group initially satisfied with the recommendation of respected area veterinarian Dr. Warren Dunn that rabies vaccinations should be done annually.

Dr. Dunn remains stuck on stupid.

Dunn says there are more incidents of rabies in Bell County compared to other places and that administering the vaccine yearly is a way to make sure a pet is protected. In addition, he said the booster does not always “take” and doing a yearly booster is cheaper than testing an animal’s blood to determine if the vaccine is still active.

To which I respectfully say, "wrong" and "wrong."


According to the State of Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Zoonosis Division annual rabies report, Bell County had a total of 8, EIGHT, confirmed cases of rabies in 2008 - 5 cases of skunk rabies and 3 cases of bat rabies.

21 Texas counties had a higher incidence of rabies than Bell County. In some counties, the incidence is considerably higher based on the prevalence of bats in the area. Harris County, for instance reported 110 confirmed cases of rabies - all bat variant.

As for Dr. Dunn's assertion that the yearly booster doesn't always "take," poppycock.
  • Dr. Michel F. Aubert’s study shows that the chances of a dog or cat developing rabies in the United States that has had one rabies vaccination is less than one in eight million, (<1:8,000,000)>
By contrast, you have a better than 1 in 600,000 chance of being struck by lightning if you stand in a thunderstorm.

Read the Temple Daily Telegram report on recent developments in this story through the link below

1 comment:

Laura Szeremi DVM said...

Thank you for following this.
Unfortunately, we are still getting no where with the County.
Dr. Laura Szeremi