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S.C. veterinarians, DHEC to provide low-cost rabies vaccinations

Beginning in the spring, veterinarians will offer cheaper rabies vaccines

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South Carolina veterinary practices are joining the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to offer low-cost rabies vaccinations to their pet patients.

Although rabies vaccines can be obtained all year, the initiative provides pet owners with an affordable and convenient service, while also helping to increase rabies-prevention awareness.

“Rabies vaccination fees may vary by clinic site, but no veterinarian participating in these clinics will charge more than $10 per pet,” says David Vaughan, director of DHEC’s division of onsite wastewater, rabies prevention, and enforcement.

South Carolina state law requires all pet cats, dogs, and ferrets are vaccinated against rabies. While not mandatory, DHEC also recommends owners vaccinate horses, livestock in frequent contact with people, valuable livestock, and animals used for raw milk or raw milk product production.

“Rabies is a threat to pets, livestock, wild animals, and humans,” Vaughan says. “Pet owners must stay vigilant and keep their pets current on their vaccinations.”

In 2018, South Carolina saw 100 positive rabies cases with the following breakdown:

• 42 raccoons;
• 16 skunks;
• 15 cats;
• 13 bats;
• nine foxes;
• two cows;
• one dog;
• one goat; and
• one coyote.

Last year, 32 of the state’s 46 counties had a confirmed case. Since the program started, positive rabies cases have been reported in every county.

Visit the website to see participating locations.

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