DHEC partners with 2 Lowcountry veterinarians for low-cost rabies clinics

 DHEC partners with 2 Lowcountry veterinarians for low-cost rabies clinics
DHEC is partnering with South Carolina veterinary offices to provide low-cost rabies clinics this spring. (Source: Pixabay)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two Lowcountry veterinary offices are among several across the state offering low-cost rabies vaccinations during the spring.

The effort is a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control designed to help pet owners protect their pets, themselves and their families.

The clinics are set to begin this week, according to a release from the agency.

The two Lowcountry locations are:

  • Palmetto Veterinary Hospital, 402 S. Green St., Ridgeland SC 29936, 843-726-7900; Daily By Appointment. Cost: $11
  • Daily Summerville Pet Clinic, 1915 Old Trolley Road, #C, Summerville, SC 29485, 843-718-8980. Cost: $10

Click here for other locations in the state.

“Rabies vaccination fees may vary by clinic site, but no vet participating in these clinics will charge more than $10 per pet," David Vaughan, Director of DHEC’s Division of Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention and Enforcement, said.

State law requires that all pet cats, dogs and ferrets are vaccinated for rabies.

The state’s biggest carriers of rabies are raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. But DHEC officials say any mammal can get rabies.

Veterinarians offer rabies vaccines year-round, but the spring clinics provide an affordable and convenient public service while also helping to raise awareness about rabies prevention.

Though not required by state law, DHEC strongly recommends owners also vaccinate horses, livestock in frequent contact with humans, livestock that are particularly valuable and animals used for raw milk or raw milk product production.

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

Hundreds of South Carolinians undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year due to exposure to a rabid or suspected rabid animal. Keeping pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against this fatal disease.

In 2018, there were 100 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals across the state including 42 raccoons; 16 skunks; 15 cats; 13 bats; nine foxes; two cows; and one dog, goat and coyote. In total, 32 of South Carolina’s 46 counties had a laboratory-confirmed case last year. Positive rabies cases have been reported in every county in South Carolina since the statewide program began.

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