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Only 39% of Pet Dogs in Vietnam Are Vaccinated: Animal Health Department

There are 5.4 million dogs registered as pets in 3.5 million households in Vietnam.

According to recent statistics from the Department of Animal Health, only 2.1 million of these registered pet dogs are vaccinated against common diseases, including rabies, Tuoi Tre reports.

However, the number only reflects a fraction of the bigger picture of pet dog vaccination in Vietnam. Animal health authorities emphasize that the real percentage might be lower as not many people register their dogs as pets. The department predicts that the risk for more rabies infections in the near future is high as many local authorities are currently unable to manage pet dogs' population in the area.

“It’s rare for dog owners in Vietnam to register their pets with local authorities,” said Nguyen Van Dung, head of the epidemiology division under the Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, adding that the lack of registration data is a big hurdle to management.

Out of 63 Vietnamese provinces and municipalities, there are 18 that can't provide data on the total number of pet dogs and the households that own them. Each year, there are approximately 400,000 to 500,000 people undergoing post-exposure prevention because of dog bites and 80 to 100 people die from rabies from dog bites.

A large number of these deaths could be attributed to lack of awareness, especially in rural areas. When bitten by house pets, patients don't seek medical attention right away due to the lack of symptoms, the presence of which means it's too late for treatment. In other cases, patients do seek medical attention, but at unverified folk apothecaries instead of hospitals. 

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