Helping Dogs in Indonesia Enjoy a Healthy Life Where Love is Not Skin Deep

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide. Stray dogs are at high risk for contracting preventable diseases, like rabies. Rabies may be a disease that’s 100% fatal, but it’s also a disease that’s 100% preventable with vaccination. When you consider that approximately 55,000 people die from rabies each year and 99% of those deaths result from the bite of an infected dog, you can understand the ongoing, urgent need to find new ways to ensure all dogs receive the proper vaccination.

In Bali alone, there are roughly half a million stray dogs. The area continues to suffer from a rabies epidemic that began in 2008. Efforts continue to deliver the vaccination and education needed to eradicate rabies in the area. This includes understanding why and how the dogs become stray in the first place. Certainly, some dogs are born stray, others wander from their homes, but some are simply abandoned by owners because the owners don’t have the means to care for their dog properly.

MSD Animal Health recently launched a new project with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) to support the general health and welfare of dogs who suffer from skin disease.

To this end, we donated BRAVECTO® doses at a recent community event to treat dogs with skin disease resulting from mite infestations with the aim of improving the overall health in the dogs. Healthy dogs become trusted family pets. Animals who receive treatment are less likely to live as stray dogs on the street, reducing the possibility of these dogs contracting and spreading diseases, especially rabies.

Marcel Pasaribu, DVM, Account Manager, Companion Animal, MSD Animal Health Indonesia led the recent initiative for which we partnered with Program Dharma. Program Dharma is a partnership between Udayana University (Department of Public Health and Faculty of Veterinary Science), Yayasan Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Centre for Public Health Innitiative (CPHI). The program is an exciting initiative in Bali, Indonesia, which applies One Health principles to improve the welfare of dogs in Balinese communities.

“Rabies vaccination is always the most important way to reduce rabies-related deaths, but there are other ways to support the health of dogs,” said Marcel. “The purpose of this initiative is to reduce skin disease in dogs so that dogs are better cared for, and this may support the government initiative to reduce deaths by rabies in a different way. We are happy that people on Kelurahan Sanur Denpasar, Bali, gave very positive response by bringing their dogs to the event. We hope it will increase their affection to maintain their dog condition.”