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Japan may be on brink of rabies epidemic

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Suddenly, around the turn of the century, Japan became a nation of dog lovers. Some attribute the boom to a television commercial that featured an irresistibly cute Chihuahua. The national transformation that followed is impossible to miss. In Japan, dogs, most of them toy-sized (or infant-sized), outnumber small children.

Whether you find that cute or repulsive is a matter of taste. Either way, chances are you don’t find it dangerous. You may be wrong. Weekly Playboy (Oct 14) fears Japan may be on the brink of a rabies epidemic.

There’s no sign of one yet, it’s only fair to note. But in July in Taiwan three bear corpses were found, and the cause of death was rabies. In September, a Weekly Playboy journalist visiting Taipei found the city in something of a rabies panic. No dogs were visible in the city – a dramatic departure from local normality. Most pet shops were shuttered. The few that weren’t had suspended dog sales and were conducting disinfection.

Rabies in humans is caused by bites from an infected dog, cat, hamster or other small mammal. Dogs are the most frequent culprit. The first known human case goes back some 4,000 years. Rabies is a very slow-traveling virus. If you’re bitten on the foot, the virus will take some three years to reach the brain. You’ll have long forgotten the bite – but by then it’s too late for treatment. You’re doomed. Untreated, once it reaches the brain the disease is nearly always fatal.

Japan, so far as is known, has been rabies-free since 1957. An effective vaccine against it was developed a century ago. The virus is not only slow but weak – it dies in air, and even a good washing with soap is more likely than not to kill it.

Why worry, then? Perhaps there’s no reason to. But the Taiwan scare let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, reminding Weekly Playboy of worst-case scenarios that sometimes do come true. Worldwide, rabies kills 55,000 people a year, making it “one of mankind’s worst enemies.”

And Asia is the epicenter. China and India lead the world in rabies deaths. China is home to 150 million dogs, and 2,000 people a year there die of rabies – so far as is known; the actual figure is assumed to be much higher.

Japan’s dogs number roughly 13 million. A huge industry has grown up around them. It includes dog hotels, dog cafes, dog spas, dog massage parlors, dog fur salons, dog insurance, nursing care for elderly dogs, and so on and so on. Pets pampered to this degree can’t possibly pose a health risk – can they? You’d be surprised, Weekly Playboy says, noting that only 40% of dogs in Japan have been inoculated against rabies.

© Japan Today

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Why only 40%?! It should be mandatory for all pet owners.

The same way it is mandatory for parents.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

This article scrapes the bottom of a very, very deep barrel and comes up with some very insubstantial bits of panic-mongering fluff.

Japan may be on the brink of a rabies epidemic - There’s no sign of one yet

You’re doomed / Worldwide, rabies kills 55,000 people a year, making it “one of mankind’s worst enemies.” And Asia is the epicenter. - Japan, so far as is known, has been rabies-free since 1957.

only 40% of dogs in Japan have been inoculated against rabies - rabies-free since 1957.

In an island country that has been rabies-free for over half a century there is really no need for regular rabies inoculations. Vets and pharmaceutical companies call the annual call to injection their spring bonus. My dog gets his annual shot because it's the law, not because it's medically dangerous not to.

The UK has been rabies-free since 1922, and dogs there are not inoculated unless they are being taken abroad.

Why only 40%?! It should be mandatory for all pet owners.

It is. It's just that a lot of folks think it's unnecessary (which it is) and a waste of money.

The same way it is mandatory for parents.

It's mandatory for parents to get their kids rabies injections????

27 ( +32 / -6 )

I was quite worried when I first saw the title of this article. Then I read and thought the whole thing was just a waste of space. Talk about fear-mongering.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

I have to agree Cleo. This is simply pathetic fear-mongering nonsense.

The author takes 3 bear deaths from rabies in Taiwan... then leaps to the conclusion that they were caused by dogs having rabies, however a quick google shows that "ferret-badgers" are the actual culprit, and that only one dog has been shown to have rabies... right after being attacked by one of these ferret-badgers.

Then the author takes an even BIGGER leap and concludes that because some bears died in Taiwan there might be a rabies epidemic in Japan soon.

11 ( +12 / -2 )

Usual scare story garbage...

So what if the is rabies in Taiwan? Last time I looked at a map, Taiwan was an island, and pretty far away from the main Japanese islands.

So, unless they are breeding dogs that can swim thousands of miles over oceans, this story is pointless, other than to say that there are cases of rabies in Taiwan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Fact is 800 people a year die from Rabies. Taiwan, an island nation like Japan as mentioned above, was previously listed at a rabies free country like the UK and Japan. It is not any longer.

It is always amazing how dog owners think their dogs will never bite kids or others. In the USA the annual dog bite attacks number in the millions per year. In Japan it is in the tens of thousands and increasing since the sad and lonely types now prefer pets to kids. Japan has more pets than kids.

The fact that 40% of dog owners get rabies shots for their dogs, as responsible parents do as well with MMR inoculations for example even though these diseases are rare, shows that at least some dog owners are doing the right thing. Others of course are simply selfish and when their dog bites a kid or others will claim that they never thought such a thing could happen so they did not bother to properly care for their animals.

And short of rabies, here are the various infectious elements in a dogs salvia for the dog apologists and irresponsible dog owners out there. About 50 infectious elements have been identified on average. Think about that dog owners when you let you dog off leash as many of you do everyday. Meningitis is also a risk from dog bites especially for kids.

Most common : Staph. aureus (30 %) Staph. epidermidis (10 to 20%) Strep. various species (50 %) Corynebacterium (10 to 30 %) Gram neg. such as E. coli Anerobes : Bacteroides Fusobacterium Peptostreptococcus Actinomyces

Less common : Pasturella multocida (zero incidence in some reports but up to 40 % in others) Pasturella canis Brucella canis Eikenella corrodens Moraxella sp. Neisseria sp. Capnocytophaga canimorsus (DF2)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If Rabies comes to Japan then i will panic, until then not.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There are a lot of dogs in Japan.

Some animals in some countries died from rabies.

Sometimes, dogs get rabies.

Therefore, Japan is going to have a huge rabies problem soon.

Sounds legit.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

zurcroniumOct. 03, 2013 - 09:29AM JST Fact is 800 people a year die from Rabies. Taiwan, an island nation like Japan as mentioned above, was previously listed at a rabies free country like the UK and Japan. It is not any longer.

.... apparently someone needs a reminder on the meaning of the word "fact". The number of deaths from rabies world-wide is more than 55 000 per year (source: CDC, confirmed by WHO). This means it doesn't even register on the top 100 causes of death, and puts it below stuff like "hookworm disease" and "Ascariasis" as a cause of death. Never heard of Ascariasis? ... then you should probably stop panicking about rabies.

In Taiwan there were 3 wild animals infected with rabies. ... Only 3. They were put down. Crisis over. No zombie apocalypse, no rabid canary tearing out your throat, not disaster, just 3 ferret-badgers which are not even native to Taiwan -- they're native to mainland China and may have been smuggled across as pets or stowed away on a boat.

Move along, nothing to see here.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If rabies has been eliminated from Japan it cannot suddenly appear from nowhere. The only risk would be from imported animals, which are subject to quarantine, or some idiot smuggling in an infected animal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You’d be surprised, Weekly Playboy says, noting that only 40% of dogs in Japan have been inoculated against rabies.

How alarming!! And to think I comfortably sit with the idea dogs here are well taken care of.

It is my understanding all inbound pet animals from abroad, specially dogs, are required inoculated documentation. Yet, how to proof that in fact they are!? My recommendation is mandate them to re-inoculate upon entering Japan at all quarantine centers... This will go on record, and allows the owner to obtain a profile medical history within Japan for future references.

1 ( +3 / -1 )

The only risk would be from imported animals, which are subject to quarantine, or some idiot smuggling in an infected animal.

Since 2000, there have been 5 human deaths from rabies in the UK, all of them from infections acquired directly by the victim overseas (Nigeria, Philippines, India, South Africa and South Asia); not a one of them involved a dog in the UK.

In Japan there was one case of imported rabies in 1970, a traveller returning from Nepal, and in 2006 two people who were bitten by dogs in the Philippines died after returning to Japan.

Zurc is worried about people getting rabies from dog bites, but that isn't going to happen in either Japan where 40% of dogs are vaccinated, or the UK where close to 0% are vaccinated. Better worry more about being bitten by a returning traveller with a mad gleam in his eye.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Any article which includes the word "may" should be read with a grain of salt. "may" means the exact same thing as "may not", it may rain tomorrow, or it may not. Any news article which can do no better than using "may" when making a prediction should not be printed, because the writer doesn't know one way or the other.

Japan is an island nation, and smuggling things here is hard. I own a dog, and my ward office requires that I get my dog immunized against rabies every year. I brought my dog here from America, and I had to show extensive health papers, as well a long rabies immunization record before the dog could be sent.

Japan is far more lilely to suffer numerous other epidemics than rabies.

2 ( +4 / -3 )

"The single biggest threat to mans continued dominance on this planet is the virus".

I would agree with that.

Dont think its going to be Rabies that gets us though. Try again, amateur weekly playboy writer trying to make a name for yourself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm surprised it's only 40% though. With the yearly notices and cheap(er) 'group injections in the park' programs you'd think more owners would have inoculated their pets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now Japan does not have so much $$, so go up to some place in GUNMA and people from Tokyo etc..are going there to DUMP their dogs in the middle of nowhere Gunma! This is no joke! I saw it on the Japanese tv news. How long will it take for wild outback, the bush for these cute, little dogs go from Chihuahuas, to wild, blood thirsting baby stealing from your tent Australian dingos!!! Something to think about their mates!

0 ( +3 / -2 )

As Cleo has said, the UK has been rabies free for nearly a century and we don't inoculate dogs here. Taiwan is a lot further away from Japan than the UK is from the European mainland, so there is even less chance of an infected animal finding it's way across the water.

WP is just trying to get people talking about it, as most of these types of mag do (Friday, Weekly Playboy, Spa!, etc)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WP is just trying to get people talking about it, as most of these types of mag do (Friday, Weekly Playboy, Spa!, etc)

Exactly. If these articles had even a 1% hit-rate with the things they say COULD or MAY happen, we'd all be dead already!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

... unless they are breeding dogs that can swim thousands of miles over oceans....

The article should have mentioned bats. Japanese bats are insectivorous, but they will bite humans or other animals if threatened. They also migrate south in winter to Taiwan and the Philippines. That is likely how it got to Taiwan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_house_bat

Agree, though: scare-mongering.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The title scared the crap out of me! I saw a woman last night going crazy, waving a knife around in the middle of the street last night. Then I read the caption and I thought we were all finished. World War Rabies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Rabies epidemic? What year is it?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Taiwan there were 3 wild animals infected with rabies. ... Only 3. They were put down. Crisis over.

Taiwanese health authorities on Tuesday renewed a call for owners to inoculate their pets after confirming a case of rabies in a dog, as the island struggles with its first outbreak of the disease in decades.

The puppy developed symptoms of rabies on Friday after it was attacked by a ferret-badger in Haituan.

A total of 124 ferret-badgers and a shrew were found to have carried the disease since May last year.

Taiwan is now listed as a rabies-affected area by the Paris-headquartered World Organisation for Animal Health

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Laguna... are you suggesting that Japanese bats flew to Taiwan and so infected the wildlife there?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most dogs in Japan are housebound. How are they going to get rabies? Wild animals like bats and foxes are the most common vector for rabies. My two dogs don't cavort with bats and foxes. If my housebound dogs who take leashed walks are at risk of rabies, then so am I and everyone else. We should all be inoculated then.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Classic tabloid fodder.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Better worry more about being bitten by a returning traveller with a mad gleam in his eye.

I am sure there were many in Taiwan who thought the same thing before the rabies outbreak. Dog owners are so emotionally dependent to their pets that they deny reality. Until their dog mauls a kid or an elder. Dog owners are really no different from smokers in that they are so clearly oblivious to the harm their pets cause on a daily basis in Japan and elsewhere.

WHO statistics . . . .

Rabies occurs in more than 150 countries and territories. More than 55 000 people die of rabies every year mostly in Asia and Africa. 40% of people who are bitten by suspect rabid animals are children under 15 years of age. Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths.

Yet the dog apologists on the board and those dog owners who are incredibly selfish and irresponsible say it is not something to concern themselves about. These people often kiss their dogs despite the fact that dog salvia is filled with horrible harmful bacteria.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Pretty much a BS article!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If your vaccinating all your pets on scedule you need not worry that they will give you the disease. Wild or ferrel pets however lose immunity of their vaccinations after 3 years. The bears likely got it from small animals like squirals, coons and rabbits.mice, rats, and ferril cats.

As for seeing cute little dogs and puppies and wanting one.. Psychologist suggest this link is actually a desire to have babies. Cute little eyes and small faces and pleasent coziness.. Well babies give off all of that too. Have a kid instead.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dogs are the source of the vast majority of human rabies deaths.

Not a single person in Taiwan is dead as a result of the current outbreak. Not a single person has been bitten by a rabid dog. The one dog in which rabies was confirmed was infected after being bitten by a wild ferret-badger. Your rant is totally off the mark and I'm surprised the mods haven't removed it for being Off Topic.

As for seeing cute little dogs and puppies and wanting one.. Psychologist suggest this link is actually a desire to have babies. Cute little eyes and small faces and pleasent coziness.. Well babies give off all of that too. Have a kid instead.

You know it's possible to do both? Growing up in a family with animals is the best childhood a kiddy can have. It also reduces the incidence of colds and other respiratory tract infections, ear infections, sneezing and rhinitis in infants. Kids brought up with dogs are less likely to need antibiotics. And the psychological advantages are boundless.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57468598-10391704/babies-with-dogs-less-likely-to-develop-colds-ear-infections-as-infants/

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Some one doesn't like dogs..... why worry about a hypothetical epidemic when Japan has a real one... RUBELLA

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/rubella-japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Rabies makes for 'good' FUD because of the zombie-apocalyptic way that it is fatal unless treated and always fatal once symptomatic. But not any more. The past ten years has seen the gradual improvement in the Milwaukee protocol which has saved 5 (most or all young girls) out of bout 25 patients treated. Patients are put into a coma and woken up once they have developed a resistance to the disease. http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2010-2011/06/20110616_rabies-survivor.html

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tim,

being put into a coma sounds appealing . . .

Kids brought up with dogs are less likely to need antibiotics. And the psychological advantages are boundless.

Unless the kids are killed by the dogs, which happens all too often. No psychological advantage there.

First is was an island nation cannot get Rabies, then Taiwan does. They no dogs in Taiwan are affected, then it is reported that a dog has been captured that has rabies. No kid was bitten but 55,000 people die a year from Rabies and most are kids bitten by dogs. It is surreal that anyone would deny the potential threat here in Japan or anywhere for that matter. I am sure when a kid is bitten by an infected dog here in Japan the dog apologists will say the kid make the dog get rabies and bite him. It is all the same empty irrationality.

Of course dogs are surrogates for kids, that is why dog owners are so emotional dependent to them. Until they do not want them anymore and then dog owners just throw away the pets like a used carton of milk. So many pets are abandoned in Japan that the humane societies cannot take them all. Thousands everyday.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

First is was an island nation cannot get Rabies

I don't think anyone said an island nation cannot get rabies, zurc. That's why all the strict quarantine laws are in place. At least with an island there's less chance of infected wildlife wandering across the border; it needs stupid humans who think their 'need' to have an exotic pet trumps everyone else's need to be infection-free.

Unless the kids are killed by the dogs, which happens all too often

Wiki tells us that between the years 1988 and 2012 a total of 137 kids under the age of 20 were killed in dog-bite-related incidents in the US. That is of course 137 too many, but in almost every case there appears to have been neglect/abuse involved. Balance that against the millions of happy kids whose childhoods have been enhanced by sharing it with a dog. You may as well say children shouldn't be allowed to sleep in beds because of the risk of accidental suffocation.

I am sure when a kid is bitten by an infected dog here in Japan the dog apologists will say the kid make the dog get rabies and bite him.

I very much doubt any kid is going to bet bitten by a rabid dog in Japan. In any case of a child being bitten by a dog anywhere, I would be inclined to first point a finger at the owner/parent who failed to manage the relationship responsibly, either by failing to teach the child how to treat the animal, by failing to train the animal properly, and/or by leaving a child and dog alone without supervision.

So many pets are abandoned in Japan that the humane societies cannot take them all. Thousands everyday.

On that I agree with you. Abandoning an animal should carry very severe penalties.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57468598-10391704/babies-with-dogs-less-likely-to-develop-colds-ear-infections-as-infants/

Cleo failed to mention, no surprise, the key point of this article. It is not the dogs that are helping the kids but the dirt that the dogs track into the house that is helping the kids. If you let your kids play in dirt they will gain the same immunity benefit of letting a dog track the dirt into the house to the kids. And you do not risk having the kid mauled by the pet or getting any one of 50 infectious diseases that are in dog salvia.

The strongest benefits were seen in children who had a dog inside at home for six hours a day or fewer, rather than at home all day, which might suggest what dogs track in may help boost early immunity.

"It might have something to do with dirt brought inside by the dogs, especially since the strongest protective effect was seen with children living in houses where dogs spent a lot of time outside," Bergroth told WebMD.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

zurc, the article also mentions that the effect of an infant living with a cat is similar, but much less marked. You'd think, wouldn't you, that cats get into more dirt than dogs - they even bury their own poo with their paws. Note the article says it might have something to do with dirt, not it definitely does have something to do with dirt. I'm inclined to believe it's something to do with dirt and dogs, since dirt and cats appears to be less effective.

And I'm sure most kids would prefer snuggling up to their Best Friend to being dumped outside in the dirt. The article points out that during the first year of life - the time most parents are keen to keep junior germ-free -, animal contacts are important. Babies don't play in the dirt, nor would most parents want them to.

(and it wasn't the 'key point' of the article, it was a surmise as to the reason behind the fact that dogs make babies healthier.)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My wife and I have been nipped by our puppy easily 20 times over the past year and there's never been an infection. The mark goes away inside a few days.

My brother-in-law in Texas thought it cute that their cat would "pump" his bare chest with her paws until a bump there turned into a serious staph infection requiring several visits to the doctor, and a new house rule.

Back here in Tokyo, at the end of our twice-daily osampo Boo has his pads cleaned using the plastic-wrapped wet towels we collect at restaurants. So dirt is much less likely to be coming in, but in a good Japanese shoe-less tradition, we are always mindful of that.

I always have heard that a dog's mouth has far less bacteria than a human's. But they DO bring bacteria into the home. Here is what I found, and is a bit of an eye-opener:

Bacteria would seem to be the last thing we'd need, but that's not the case. This phenomenon, however gross sounding, seems to be healthy for most people.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/pets/dogs-change-your-homes-bacteria-130522.htm

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My wife and I have been nipped by our puppy easily 20 times over the past year

There may have been no infection, but well before it reached its birthday your pup should have been taught not to nip. It may be sweet and cute when it nips you or your wife, not so cute when it nips a neighbour's kid.

How to teach a pup not to nip: Show the pup you have a tasty treat in your hand. Close your fingers over the treat. The pupster will mouth your hand, trying to get at the goodie. Say nothing, do nothing, do not open your hand. After a while the pup will either get tired, or confused as to why Dad isn't letting him have the treat, and will, if only for a second, remove his mouth from your hand. As soon as he does, tell him enthusiastically that he's a Good Boy (click if you use a clicker, highly recommended) and give him the treat. Rinse and repeat. It shouldn't take more than ten repeats for the slowest dumbest pup, maybe as few as three or four if you have a canine Einstein, to learn that Good Things come from NOT allowing doggy teeth to touch human skin. You should bring it to the level where the pup actively turns away from a human hand brought close to its face, unless it has been given the cue that it's OK to touch/lick (NOT bite, ever).

I always have heard that a dog's mouth has far less bacteria than a human's.

I don't know about that, but apparently dog saliva does have some bactericidal properties, namely it inhibits the growth of E. coli and other harmful bacteria.

http://www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF12/1234.html

There're lots of reasons they're our Best Friend.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thanks for the tip, Cleo. He no longer nips. He loves sleeves and jumping up he sometimes would catch a little skin. One year along he's much less into the puppy routine. Getting him was the best thing we have done in 20 years.

I saw this from The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan's web page, on doggy bacteria:

In 2011, a team of Japanese researchers collected dental plaque from 66 dogs and 81 humans who visited dog training schools and animal clinics in Okayama, Japan. The research results determined that both humans and dogs contain bacteria in their mouths, which could potentially be transferred to each other through “kissing."

http://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/dog-health/Should-You-Kiss-Your-Dog#ixzz2gwFUDM5k

Incidentally, his puppy teeth were not falling out as they were supposed to, and the vet extracted them.

Voila! End of doggy breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Getting him was the best thing we have done in 20 years.

That's what I like to hear from dog owners!

A little bit more nagging, though (sorry); the jumping up also needs to be checked. Again, cute when he's a little puppy and does it to you and your wife, not so cute when he's full-grown and does it to your 90-year-old neighbour, knocking her over and breaking her hip.

There are different ways of stopping jumping-up. I think I saw one programme where Cesar suggested kneeing the dog in the chest when it jumped up and giving a verbal check at the same time. That might work, but I prefer not to risk accidentally kicking my dog.... It also involves getting the dog to jump up first so that you can 'punish' him for jumping, and I prefer to avoid punishment for a behaviour that I have encouraged. It's not fair on the dog. Dogs also find it easier to understand that you want them to do something, rather than not do something. In other words, teach the dog what you would like him to do instead of jumping up; eg, greet people with a Sit. If you're Sitting, you can't be Jumping. No dog can fathom all the intricate ins and outs of human society, but if your dog reverts to a default Sit when he's faced with a new situation where he doesn't know what to do, you will have a well-behaved dog that people will marvel to behold. :-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You'd think, wouldn't you, that cats get into more dirt than dogs - they even bury their own poo with their paws.

No, many cats never go outside their homes. Dogs are generally much more outside animals than cats. That is obvious. People do not walk cats, you might have noticed that when you were outside walking your dogs.

There are many, many studies that show that kids kept in super clean homes are more likely to get sick due to weak immune systems than kids that live in less clean homes. Think of it as an inoculation effect. So the health benefit cited above about dogs has to do with dogs being dirty and bringing into the house dirt and mold and feces so that kids are exposed and their immune systems become stronger. Parents do not need pets to get this effect, they can just clean house less often. Job done. And then no risk of the kids getting mauled by the family dog.

Like this story from the UK . . .

A mother whose eight-day-old son died after being bitten by the family dog has told an inquest of her shock at the attack, saying the Jack Russell was "mild-mannered". Mikayla Bell, 19, said the seven-year-old dog called PJ had never been aggressive towards children, adults or other dogs. Bell, whose son was in his cot when he was bitten, said she didn't "blame anyone" for what had happened but that it "was a really tragic accident". Bell said: "I feel angry about what happened but I don't blame anyone. I am shocked to know it was PJ because he wasn't vicious at all. Although my son was only with us for eight days, he had brought enormous happiness to us all and his loss is a tragedy that we will carry with us forever. We will treasure every single moment we enjoyed of him and we will never forget the joy he gave us when he arrived."

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's a very sad story. Read the whole thing to learn that the dog and baby were apparently left alone together, which should never happen. The mother says she doesn't blame anyone, but it's pretty obvious the grandmother is to blame. - the dog had not followed Miss Bell's mother into the kitchen but remained in the sitting room where he attacked the baby, who was sleeping in a cot.

"I know it was a tragic accident but I will always wonder if I could have done something differently that morning." - Yes Gran, you could have done something very different, like not leave the dog and baby alone when you wandered off into the kitchen.

http://news.sky.com/story/1075803/mild-mannered-family-dog-killed-baby-boy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is one of the rules suggest by the Center of Disease Control in the USA.

Do not have a dog if you have young children.

Parents cannot protect their kids from an in home threat in the form of dog. Any dog. You can always say after the fact that this and that should have been done, but the wrong decision to start was to bring a dog into the home with young kids.

Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, half of these are children. One in five dog bites results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention.1 Any dog of any breed has the potential to bite. About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Almost one in five of those who are bitten, about 885,000, require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries; half of these are children. In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.

4.5 million bites a year Cleo, half of those attacked are kids. Still clinging to your illusions about pets? Of course you are.

Also in the same report it states that the USA is tightening its rabies prevention laws.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is one of the rules suggest by the Center of Disease Control in the USA.

Do not have a dog if you have young children.

The page your long quote comes from (http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/dog-bites/index.html) does not give the suggestion you claim it does; in fact it gives advice on how to bring a dog into the family and teaching children basic safety. The nearest I can find is Use caution when bringing a dog into a household with an infant or toddler., which is just common sense.

You also conveniently omit from the middle of your long quote, There are ways to make dog bites less likely.

On a separate page, the CDC states that There are many positive benefits of owning a pet.....By keeping your pet healthy, you keep yourself and your family healthy.....There are many health benefits of owning a pet. The companionship of pets can help manage loneliness and depression. Pets can increase your opportunities to exercise, participate in outdoor activities, and socialize. Therefore, regular walking or playing with pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Remember, healthy pets = healthy people!

So much for your 'rule'.

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HealthyPets/

the USA is tightening its rabies prevention laws

Probably a very good idea, considering that the USA is not rabies-free.

A dog is no more dangerous than the person/people who are responsible for it; as the CDC points out, responsible dog-ownership can prevent most potential dog-bites.

In 2004 some 1.2million people worldwide were killed and 50 million more injured in motor vehicle collisions; motor vehicle collision is the leading cause of injury/death in children worldwide (260,000 child fatalities, 10 million injuries - all numbers from wiki). So maybe people should be advised not to own cars?

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A dog is no more dangerous than the person/people who are responsible for it; as the CDC points out, responsible dog-ownership can prevent most potential dog-bites.

What a ridiculous and fantasy filled statement that is. First of all the CDC says basically that a dog represents a threat to children in the home, sometimes a fatal threat. And second as you have agreed most dog owners are not responsible at all. In Japan most do not even register their dogs properly. Thousands of dogs are thrown away and killed yearly here. On planet earth this is the reality. On planet doggy-are-wonderful-in-heaven then maybe you are right. You are taking the same line as defenders of guns, it is not the guns that kill people it is the people that kill people. Same faulty emotional reasoning. A gun is a weapon. A dog is a weapon as well in too many instances and unfortunately that applies most directly to kids. Bring them both into the home and the results are all too predictable. No pixie dust will fix that no matter how many times your close your eyes, click your heels and wish for rose petals and balloons.

Comparing dog ownership with kids to driving is not worth commenting about. Maybe a course in logic is suggested.

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