Individuals exposed to Killua urged to get rabies shots

March 25, 2024 - 4:19 PM
Vaccine vial
A person holding a vaccine vial (Image by on Freepik)

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society or PAWS is calling on people who were scratched or bitten by Killua, the viral slain dog, to get post-exposure shots of rabies vaccine after a laboratory test revealed the animal had the disease.

In a statement, the non-profit organization said that the animal tested positive for rabies over the weekend. The dog’s remains were tested at the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

It, however, clarified, that the result “may not be accurate” as Killua had already been buried five days before he was tested.

PAWS added that the dog’s remains “may have been contaminated from being in an area where many stray dogs have already been slaughtered.”

Killua was a house dog owned by Vina Rachelle Azaras, who described her pet as “kind dog.”

Meanwhile, the org said it made the announcement “to ensure that any bites or scratches will be reported promptly in the interest of public health and safety.”

It then urged individuals who have been scratched or bitten by the dog to “immediately” get post-exposure rabies shots to protect themselves from the viral disease which can be fatal to humans.

PAWS also confirmed that Killua was found at a “known dog slaughter area” in Sta. Cruz at Bato, Camarines Sur on March 17 after going missing.

It has already filed a criminal complaint relating to animal cruelty and dog meat trading against Anthony Solares for violating the Anti-Rabies Act and the Animal Welfare Act.

Solares previously denied sacking and intending to cook the dog, but PAWS said he brought the animal to a “known slaughterhouse and dog meat cooking area” after killing the canine.

RELATED: PAWS files case vs Killua’s ‘killer’ for engaging in dog meat trading

The man claimed he killed Killua to prevent the dog from biting people, alleging an elderly individual was bitten.

Meanwhile, the BAI’s standard protocol for animals suspected of having rabies is for them to “be observed for fourteen (14) days or, in case of highly suspected rabies cases, be humanely euthanised with no damage to the head.”

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In the Philippines, it is mandatory for pet owners to vaccinate their animal companions against rabies.

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is fatal once clinical symptoms appear.

The virus spreads to people from animals through saliva, usually through bites, scratches or direct contact with mucosa, particularly in the eyes, mouth or open wounds.

Its symptoms include fever, pain and unusual or unexplained tingling, pricking, or burning sensations at the wound site.

Once it affects the central nervous system, progressive and fatal inflammation of the brain and spinal cord develops.

The World Health Organization said that domestic dogs are responsible for transmitting rabies to humans in 99% of cases, although the virus can affect both domestic and wild animals.

It can be prevented by having animals vaccinated against rabies. Pre-exposure and post-exposure shots are also available to humans.