Protecting Employees and Their Pets with Voluntary Pet Benefits
September 28 was World Rabies Day, a global health observance to raise awareness about the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Rabies is preventable, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 60,000 people around the world die from rabies every year.
Approximately 4,500 rabid animals are reported in the United States annually, and while wildlife is the majority of these cases, about 70 rabid dogs and 250 rabid cats are reported every year. These are concerning statistics, but you can take steps to protect your employees and their beloved pets.
“Our pet benefit plans are designed to provide coverage for everything pet parents need to keep their pets safe,” said Becky Schaen, Director of Marketing, at Pet Benefit Solutions. “Our partnership with PlanSource is an integral part of getting coverage to as many pet families as possible so everyone can access affordable, quality pet care…and worry less about rabies!”
Once the virus is introduced into muscle tissue, the path proceeds as follows:
- Through the body — The virus moves through nerves from the bite site to the brain, but the affected person or animal doesn’t appear ill during this incubation period, which can last for weeks to months, depending on the bite location and how much virus was injected into the wound.
- In the brain — The virus multiplies in the brain, causing inflammation inside the brain, and most affected people and animals show serious illness signs in three to five days.
- In the saliva — As inflammation spreads in the brain, the virus moves to the salivary glands and is excreted in the saliva.
Rabies is almost always fatal once signs manifest, and death typically occurs in about seven days.
- Furious rabies — Pets affected by furious rabies exhibit signs that include aggression, excitability and chewing and eating strange things (e.g., stones, dirt). Death typically results from a violent seizure.
People with furious rabies experience hyperactivity, excitability, and fear of water. Death is typically caused by cardio-respiratory arrest.
- Paralytic (dumb) rabies — Dumb rabies is more common in pets than in people and runs a longer course. Progressive paralysis starts in the limbs or near the bite site and eventually results in difficulty swallowing. Ultimately, the patient (pet or person), becomes comatose and succumbs to the illness.
When it comes to diagnosing rabies, pets are not tested until they’ve succumbed to the illness. They’re then sent for brain tissue testing to confirm that rabies was the cause of death.
In people, rabies can’t be detected before clinical signs are present; once signs occur, various diagnostic techniques can detect the virus, viral antigens, or nucleic acids in infected tissues.
There is no treatment available for rabies once signs manifest; however, when a person is potentially exposed, they can receive PEP, or Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, immediately to prevent the virus from entering their central nervous system.
The good news is that rabies is 100% preventable. Louis Pasteur developed the first effective rabies vaccine in 1885, and a vaccine was developed in 1979 that provides immunity to pets.
Rabies vaccines are highly effective in disease prevention, and many states require that all dogs, cats, and ferrets be vaccinated and receive regular boosters. People in high-risk occupations, such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians, wildlife rangers, and laboratory workers handling live rabies viruses, should also be vaccinated.
Protecting Pets through your Benefits Package
When your employees know you care about their entire family, including their four-legged members, they work harder and are more loyal to your company. Providing pet benefits is a great way to ensure your employees know how much you value their commitment.
Pet Benefit Solutions specializes in pet-focused benefits, and has partnered with PlanSource to offer two convenient options to help your employees protect their pet(s) from rabies and other dangerous illnesses. Let your employees choose the coverage that works best for them by offering both Total Pet Plan and Wishbone Pet Insurance.
- Total Pet Plan —Total Pet Plan* is a non-insurance pet care bundle that gives your employees coverage on everything their pet needs. Members save on their pet’s food, prescriptions, preventatives, vaccines (including rabies), wellness visits, emergency care, and more! The plan also includes 24/7 access to pet telehealth services and a durable ID tag with lost pet recovery support.
- Wishbone Pet Insurance — Wishbone Pet Insurance is comprehensive, low-stress health insurance for your employees’ pets. The plan offers reimbursement on veterinary care costs that result from an accident or illness, like kennel cough, broken bones, cancer, and more. Plus, Wishbone offers optional wellness riders that cover routine and preventative care including vaccinations for rabies and other illnesses.
Want to Learn More?
Pet Benefit Solutions is a team of pet lovers and employee benefit experts on a mission to help employees access affordable, quality pet care.
Our simple implementation, full-service administrator portal, and affordable rates make adding pet coverage to your voluntary benefits offerings easier than ever before.
*Bonus: Total Pet Plan is part of the PlanSource Partner Marketplace. With flat rates, an out-of-the-box template build, and templated file delivery, you can offer Total Pet Plan to your employees with minimal administration.
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