Chats with the Chatfields

Ep 46: Mission Rabies: The Global Fight Against Canine Rabies and How You Can Help

June 06, 2023 Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason Chatfield Season 1 Episode 46
Chats with the Chatfields
Ep 46: Mission Rabies: The Global Fight Against Canine Rabies and How You Can Help
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of "Chats with the Chatfields," Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason are joined by  Dr. Luke Gamble, a dedicated veterinarian who is currently on location in Cambodia leading a Mission Rabies campaign. Dr. Luke Gamble is a passionate advocate for animal welfare and has been working tirelessly to combat the deadly disease of rabies with global charities Mission Rabies and Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS).

Hosted by the doctors Chatfield, who are known for their love of animals and their curiosity about the world, this episode delves into the importance of the Mission Rabies campaign and the incredible work being done by Dr. Gamble and his team. They discuss the devastating effects of rabies, both on animals and humans, and the urgent need for vaccinations and education to prevent its spread.

Join the Chatfields as they explore the challenges faced in eradicating rabies in developing countries like Cambodia, where access to veterinary care and public health resources may be limited. Dr. Gamble shares his experiences from the frontlines, highlighting the critical role of vaccination clinics, community engagement, and the training of local veterinary professionals.

Listen in as the trio addresses common misconceptions about rabies, including the myths surrounding its transmission and treatment. They emphasize the importance of responsible pet ownership, proper vaccination protocols, and the need for ongoing awareness campaigns to reduce the incidence of rabies cases.

Tune in to this eye-opening episode of "Chats with the Chatfields" to gain a deeper understanding of the global fight against rabies and the inspiring efforts of Dr. Luke Gamble and his team during their mission rabies campaign in Cambodia. Get ready to be educated and inspired to take action in your own community to protect both animals and humans from this deadly disease.

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This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses,

Jenifer Chatfield  00:13

Merck animal health, the makers of Nobivac vaccines.  Okay, welcome to this episode of chats with the chat fields. This is a podcast to expand your idea of what impacts veterinarians, pet owners, and basically all animal lovers in the galaxy's view is they are your hosts. I'm Dr. Jen the vet. 

Jason Chatfield  00:35

And I'm Dr. Jason.

Jenifer Chatfield  00:36

And if you have not yet subscribed to our show, 

Jason Chatfield  00:39

why not?

Jenifer Chatfield  00:40

just go to And subscribe today. And if you want to reach us, you can find me with any message of love and positivity at

Jason Chatfield  00:49

and for everything else, not necessarily love and positivity. You can find me at Okay. I've slowed that down. So it's done more impressive. I am sure that

Jenifer Chatfield  01:04

I'm sure everybody sees that. Okay. But we actually have a really special episode for all the chatterboxes in the chat room. So everyone grab your coffee or your I guess, preferred drink and sit down. This is gonna be a great one. We have a guest and, of course, a great friend of the show Dr. Luke gamble. And he's joining us because Jason, do you remember last time that he came into the chat room? 


Jason Chatfield  01:32

how could Iforget? Give me a break? I didn't know  what a tuk-tuk was and now I do. Right?


Jenifer Chatfield  01:37

And he was all hyped up because he was getting together this incredible campaign to go to


Jason Chatfield  01:41

That's incorrect. He's all hyped up because that's how he is. All of the time.


Jenifer Chatfield  01:47

It's just because he woke up that's it? Yeah. Okay. So but anyway, he was actually hyped up because he was working on all of the logistics and the machinations surrounding what he was hoping would be the biggest campaign to date for mission rabies one of his global charities. And it was going to be the first time ever in Cambodia.


Jason Chatfield  02:10

Cambodia that is Wait a minute. Is he is he in Cambodia?


Jenifer Chatfield  02:15

He is so so you know that so cool. Yeah. joined us from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. And 


Jason Chatfield  02:26

POM pin, okay. Yes,


Jenifer Chatfield  02:28

the capital. I believe it's capital. Anyway, internet, I'm sure will fact check me. And we chatted all about that at a very early time for him in the morning. So we're ready. We're going to kick into that interview. Where are we visited with Dr. Luke gamble on the ground in the field saving the world in Cambodia,


Jason Chatfield  02:49

and Cambodia. I'm excited. Okay.


Jenifer Chatfield  02:54

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Luke Gamble  04:14

ninjas, vaccinates ninjas everywhere, everywhere. If you can't knock yourself, you've lost the plot. So we've got we've got 12 teams, and each team comprises of 10 NUVA's and a NUVA is Ninja Unit that are Vaccinating Awesome, which is mental and obviously, a little bit strange, but we're going with that. Each NUVA has to get 100 Dogs they're gonna get 100 dogs to get a blue shirt. So you know that you got to be hardcore. You got to get a blue shirt basically.


Jason Chatfield  04:50

Getting fantastic.


Jenifer Chatfield  04:53

T shirt What the heck man?



Blue NUVA T shirt. Yeah. So we got to go today. Today we got to get 10,000 dogs.


Jenifer Chatfield  05:07

Okay. All right.



It's a big one. Yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  05:10

So so last. So last time that you were on you were getting ready you were drumming up interest for getting on a trip took and heading to Cambodia. And your target was 100,000 dogs.


Luke Gamble  05:27

100,000 dogs. We're not quite enough dogs. I think I'm not so good. And there's less than we had. We all gonna get over 70% That's the important thing. But on the 10 days, we'll get to 70,000 bucks. At least. That's still smashing it. We've got is 250 people on the project. So it's big one. Yeah. And we got this amazing moment. We are the MSP. Nobody back Klaxxi power. Vaccine calm. Dogs just back in us. Yeah, we got. Yeah, we just we just saw that CDC been amazing as well actually got some of the CDC crew. Yeah.


Jason Chatfield  06:10

You got it. You gotta set the scene a little bit better. So listen, we're all those folks in the yellow shirts right there. They're not they're not the blue shirt, ninjas. Right. They're all.


Luke Gamble  06:18

They're all here watching me drink a coffee outside a coffee shop perfectly frantically get ready to dispatch in their teams. There's loudspeakers going on behind me, as team leaders call all the newbies together. And then the movers who comprise one international volunteer, one local final year, vet student and the component University. Yeah, they pair up and they power off. And they're all working on the app. They know the areas that go into, and they go in these little villages, and they're going door to door. Oh,


Jason Chatfield  06:48

what do they do? They send them off and it's a big dust cloud and they're all gone. But they do they go door to door and they say what? Not not Hello, you gotta know.


Luke Gamble  06:59

They say in coma. I can't I'm not even going to try that. Your song you have to do impressions. If I try and do that now. It'd be a bad idea. But they are not not Hello. Rabies Vaccine suddenly like that in crime? Can we give it up on all the TV Radio News everything. sensitization officers have been to all these areas before so they know we're coming. And then the key bit is the teams have to be vaccinating a dog at least every six minutes. There's no messing around. There's no around man. And no downtime. No shooting hoops.


Jason Chatfield  07:38

No working on your jump shot. Forget it. Oh,


Luke Gamble  07:40

yo, yo, girl.


Jason Chatfield  07:43

Those dogs.


Luke Gamble  07:45

Three Dogs. Three


Jenifer Chatfield  07:47



Luke Gamble  07:48

Yep, I'm patient. I'm gonna get a blue shirt. Yeah, that's all


Jason Chatfield  07:51

it's about is getting a blue shirt. Right? Oh, hey, look,


Jenifer Chatfield  07:54

I don't want to miss like we just kind of glossed over that one of the members of the new VA is a final year veterinary student from Yes. The local vet school there in Cambodia.


Luke Gamble  08:07

Exactly. In Pnom pen. That's right. Yeah. So that's paying


Jenifer Chatfield  08:11

it forward. That's that's that that's that's working towards sustainability, right for the prevention program by getting folks engaged because Michigan rabies is gonna lead like you're here. You did his big campaign and blitz you get your dino 70% of the dog population. The vaccines are not lifelong, right. And and there's new dogs born and so you got to get people there on the ground to understand that this disease is here and here's how we can stop it. And that's why you need those vet students that's amazing.


Jason Chatfield  08:44

Yes, they don't they don't charge as much so it's fantastic.


Luke Gamble  08:49

We got an entire year the entire year. Yes shall come to university. Come on out. It's fine. We should do that. We should do that with Where did you go? Where did you go to school?


Jenifer Chatfield  09:05

Texas a&m University.


Luke Gamble  09:07

This is kind of let's get him. I mean I match it


Jenifer Chatfield  09:12

can be Luke Luke, listen, listen, listen. Listen, Fred. Do not challenge Texans. Right don't pop up and be say like, I don't know. Can you come to Texas?


Luke Gamble  09:26

We've got we've bigger bigger is it really? Is it really takes Yes. Going next year.


Jason Chatfield  09:38

Listen, what happened? I had to you had you got so much energy. It's unbelievable. Caffee That's brilliant. What happens to Dizzy whenever? Not for me. Thanks.


Jenifer Chatfield  09:54

Jason declines a sip of your coffee. No,


Jason Chatfield  09:56

no, no, no, no. Ah, stop. I'm not that I'm way behind it. Keep up at the houses in need of local folks say, Nope, not for me. Thanks.


Luke Gamble  10:06

Oh, no, don't do No, it's very well, are we light about it? By the time you've, you've sort of stumbled through it and tells yourself Well, we've already dropped it. Sorry, if people don't want, if people don't want it done, we obviously respect that. But everyone's been great. So far. We're not getting anyone going. No, yeah. Everyone's just kind of Thank you still because that all their kids are dying of rabies.


Jason Chatfield  10:33



Jenifer Chatfield  10:36

But that's part of that full court press with the media, right? Like you don't just like show up one day and say we want to get 100,000 dogs. You've got the the media, you said it's all over the TV. You had the sensitization officers or agents go visit. They're talking about it. They're telling them that background information, and then the ninjas show up with the


Luke Gamble  10:57

bright yellow shirts. Some of them in blue ones now? Yeah. So that's the main you know, your victory? Get a blue one? Yeah.


Jason Chatfield  11:05

Is Luke on top ball? Are you Are You the man in charge of all of organizing all this? There's some organizations that we talked about that again, or what's happening, you just decided


Luke Gamble  11:16

I Bumble along I bang the drum and give you all the chat. This proper people doing all the hard work of logistics organization. Great project managers, Amy, Fred, Kay, all these kinds of people. And then they don't see me. I run interference. That's how that works. Good job.


Jenifer Chatfield  11:36

I think that that's like a custom made position for our friend Luke Campbell. Running interference. Yeah.


Luke Gamble  11:44

Now they will stop getting everything ready for the day, and I'm chatting to you, which they're really happy about the way


Jason Chatfield  11:50

Yeah, so listen, so if we talk to you long enough, I'll read. I'll read shares. You're gonna see everyone just kind of bam. Take off. Yeah,


Jenifer Chatfield  11:57

that's great. Yeah, there's Jason, look at all the Tuk Tuks.


Jason Chatfield  12:03

Y'all should be on one, right. Give me a break.


Luke Gamble  12:07

To talk to everyone gets like power off. Yeah. And they literally just counted last.


Jenifer Chatfield  12:12

Awesome. Okay. So we do want to say and you mentioned this earlier, you alluded to it. We want to say that through the Merck animal health of Fire Program, Noby vac provides 100% of the vaccines for mission rabies. And so we yeah, we got to say like, huge thanks for that. And it's really hard to get them sometimes to admit that they do that they hide their light under a


Luke Gamble  12:40

very chin about it all. You can do it without them. I know. That's amazing. Yeah. So stable, you know, give it subcat and all that kind of jazz. It's great. We've used all over the world. You know, as you know, we had that paper in Nature. We've got coming right first graders controlled space for all of their vaccines. So it's cool. We come out here, and it's going down a storm. So really, yeah,


Jenifer Chatfield  13:07

it's amazing. And it's what it's so it's so so incredible. This this incredible, life saving thing. It's like little pink deal and itty bitty vial. And I mean, it's amazing, because as you said, You've schooled us Well, Dr. Campbell, we know that one to two children, not adults, children succumb to rabies every week in Cambodia. Which is just mind blowing that know how long that's right. Not for long, because mission rabies is gonna stamp it out. Yeah, you know


Luke Gamble  13:42

what else about is amazing about long term. I don't want to distract from the mission review stuff. But there's no McDonald's here. It's one of the only capital cities in the world without any McDonald's will share in that. That's


Jason Chatfield  13:55

it You saying that's good. Are you saying that's bad?


Luke Gamble  13:58

I'm just stating it's neutral. Make up your own mind. Things I've Learned about Cambodia I don't know why. Some Burger Kings.


Jenifer Chatfield  14:09

Yeah, but the king is there. The King is there. Just no golden arches.


Luke Gamble  14:14

Wow. At least like that's a really apparently really rare thing. It is,


Jenifer Chatfield  14:18

especially in a capital city and metropolitan, sophisticated location.


Luke Gamble  14:23

Whatever time they've not made it into Cambodia made everywhere else, not Cambodia.


Jenifer Chatfield  14:27

That was crazy.


Jason Chatfield  14:28

There's definitely a reason I don't know what it is. Yeah. Okay, so


Jenifer Chatfield  14:31

what so what else have you found? I want to know like a key piece of information that you have discovered about the culture around pets and families in Cambodia while you've been there.


Luke Gamble  14:46

Well founds the culture, I found the people to be awesome. They're really really friendly. They obviously eat a lot of dog, which is a slight sort of issue where we're interesting and reduce the dog population. So No, that does hamper thinks there is a bit of a spanner in the works. Yeah. This, you know, could be serious about it is that there's a lot of tragic history with Cambodia, you know, 45 years ago when poor people were killed by Pol Pot. So, yeah, we wanted a communistic, agricultural society. They killed anyone who could read or write with soft hands with glasses sold incredibly brutal, and that cast a shadow over the country. And it's still very much there and you feel that presence. Yeah. Pnom pen is like a killing filter here and all that and it's heartbreaking. It's not like beyond. Yeah, it's no even quips about It's so awful, and tragic and desperately terrible. But the point is that it has set the country back LiveX made it quite hard. So you've got all your top tier have had no mentoring them. And so it's taking time to get on his feet. And maybe that's why I I don't know, it's probably these wise, for me to say, but perhaps wipe disease surveillance might be a little bit behind and things like that. And


Jenifer Chatfield  16:02

I agree, I think I think that's not unusual for things like passive disease surveillance, and epidemiology to lag behind. Things like, you know, feeding people. Those sorts of things. I think it lags and especially when it comes to zoonotic diseases, even those as tragic as rabies, right? Because if you get to pick how you're gonna go, you don't pick that. And unfortunately, right now, in Cambodia, people don't always have that choice. But once you vaccinate 70% of the dogs in the area, they're in Phnom Penh, that that like essentially stops that fire of transmission, that cycle of transmission and people


Luke Gamble  16:53

really fast as well. Oh, look, here's the sweetener. I gotta lighten the load here. Look at this. This guy swapped up with a dog on his bike. Probably for a vaccination, either vaccination or a coffee. I'm not sure. Oh, oh, yeah. Look


Jenifer Chatfield  17:06

at that. Oh, how fantastic is that? Yeah. Very nice. Very nice. Okay, so you're off. You're off to save the world. How many more days? Are you in Cambodia?


Luke Gamble  17:20

So Well, I live we live on Saturday. So the answer to that question is two. On there, about an hour sleep last night. So yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  17:32

Yes. No, we so much appreciate you joining us, especially to give us an update on really, I mean, really saving the world. I say that joke because I tell people when they hang up on the phone, I'm like, All right. Well continue saving the world.


Luke Gamble  17:47

And country I want I think we need to do a country with Texas. Yeah, I need to sit down and say look, are you? Do you want to try and vaccinate the entire country's dogs against rabies in like, a month? Yeah.


Jason Chatfield  18:05

That'll just lead to more bad schools competing to do more. And then oh my gosh, we get bigger. So yeah, it would be great for Texas a&m to be the leaders in that situation, wouldn't


Luke Gamble  18:14

it? No, they're all like they're already behind. There's 70,000 Dogs behind the university kicked in their house?


Jenifer Chatfield  18:26

Well, I will tell you that would put everyone that would put our global community of veterinary professionals well on the way to erasing rabies, would it not?


Luke Gamble  18:38

Yeah, we can have a league table of mercies and we get sponsored for it and the final years could like all fundraise for it and they book out like a couple of weeks. How many dogs can you do in this period of time? Yeah, logistically organize that. Yeah. Even even better. Or winners, as they say.


Jason Chatfield  18:58

Even betters someone gets a film crew down there and films it turns it into a vaccination reality show. Bob's your uncle, there we go. Pick disease, right. And you know, just how we do it. What


Jenifer Chatfield  19:12

else do we want to get rid of? Hello, come on. No, we're waiting. That's right. That's right. That honestly, it's a fantastic thing. But what I love is that we're getting to talk to you in the field. We're getting to see the incredible team behind you as you're talking with us getting ready. Yeah, to go


Luke Gamble  19:37

take this opportunity to YES to go and leave me just to bolt.


Jenifer Chatfield  19:42

No, but to to really, to really showcase the difference that can be made right? You can't make a difference. When Yeah,


Luke Gamble  19:56

you don't think about it. Do you know this? moment now hear people talk Wrapping part of these big programs to eliminate diseases and yeah, this is one of them. And now it's all moments have a go at that, isn't it? So, it? We just couldn't get the word out there. We've got loads us volunteers, actually, it's quite a few us vets here.


Jenifer Chatfield  20:14

Yes, yes, I heard I heard I heard they were gonna be well, they were at least for that I knew were going. And I'm sure you have more than that. That are there.


Luke Gamble  20:24

Like, yeah, it was at least five or 620 is about 20. About 20. Okay, this morning for me.


Jason Chatfield  20:34

We're getting so tired for home. That is really nice.


Jenifer Chatfield  20:36

Yeah, no, Luke, Luke. Is your is your arm tired? Are you taking it for the team? They weren't? Yeah.


Luke Gamble  20:47

I struggled me so I just kind of talking out the screen.


Jenifer Chatfield  20:52

It's okay, because you're holding your own in the conversation, friend. Don't worry. It's okay. All right. Well, um, I feel Jason, do you feel like we're totally taking his time away from saving? They gotta go back. Oh.


Luke Gamble  21:12

Yeah, it's like, I'll see you. I'll see you soon. All right. Thank you. Talk to the TV guys. We'll make out all right, right. Yeah. All right.


Jason Chatfield  21:26

Bye, guys. Awesome. Yes.


Jenifer Chatfield  21:29

Okay, so fantastic. So let's close it out here. chatterboxes. So as we did promised, last year that we would get an update from Dr. gamble when he was in Cambodia. Boom, there you go. We gotta keep our promises.


Jason Chatfield  21:44

In the field update, How awesome was that? And how awesome was Luke to take the time? To do that? He didn't certainly didn't have to do that. WFYI I don't know if he told everybody, but it's what time is it over there?


Jenifer Chatfield  21:54

It's Oh, it's it's 630 in the morning. It's ridiculously early. I


Jason Chatfield  21:59

could never tell with Luke on one hour asleep. No, no, no, I didn't want a full read full night rest, it'd be too much.


Jenifer Chatfield  22:06

I say God bless his mother, God bless his wife and all of that juice that he's got running. So but I do want to remind everybody, like take this opportunity. Rabies is real rabies still happens, it is a global issue. In the United States, which is where most of our chatterboxes are. It's easy for us to forget. But the only reason it's easy is because we have a massive public health infrastructure that is largely covert. And we prevent rabies in humans in the United States, in, you know, hundreds of 1000s of people every year, which is why it is rarely diagnosed any human in the United States. However, globally, it is a massive problem. And it's children that die from it. Just as Luke was mentioning its children. The average age of a person who dies from rabies is five to 14 years old. So it's not adult, it's kids. That's a horrific thing. And every time you get your pet vaccinated, if you ask your veterinarian if they're using an OB vac vaccine, you are helping to eliminate rabies around the world. So just bear that in mind.


Jason Chatfield  23:19

It's true, though. People say that, but just look at that. Look at look at the crazy crazy scene that was going on on behind it and those people are all about to go vaccinate 70,000 dogs, right? Yes.


Jenifer Chatfield  23:32

10,000 10,000 that day


Jason Chatfield  23:34

10,000. Today, they're about to be started doing that. It's no small task. Yeah.


Jenifer Chatfield  23:38

And 10,000 is an average like, day for the team that's out in Cambodia right now. Like they shoot for 12. Right? Because you know, Luke always aims big can shoot for 12. But the 10 10,000 is what they what they like, that's just a normal day. That's just a normal day out vaccinating dogs. So remember that when you consider whether or not I don't know, is rabies still a thing? Do we even have to worry about that? Yes, it is. vaccinate your dog, vaccinate your cat. And say silent Thank you, or I guess an aloud thank you to Merck animal health and they're a fire program. You can find more information about it. We're going to link it in the show notes for you because they provide 100% of the vaccines that are used by mission rabies and they provide those at no cost. So every time that you get your pet vaccinated with an OB vaccine, you're helping save a child from rabies somewhere in the world. So yeah, so I will have links down there permission rabies to they're always looking for volunteers for their next campaign. So if you are interested, they take everybody check it out. There is some way that you can contribute to what's going on,


Jason Chatfield  24:47

especially called that all the veterinary school starting with Texas a&m And we'll send a copy of this to somebody over there to see what's happened and we will put students in love they love any any excuse to get out there and travel and this really can be Oh poor. And I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to find some sponsors. So,


Jenifer Chatfield  25:04

no. So I get from so it's great. It's really an idea that he had. Yes. So if you have questions, if you just want to find out more, check out the links in the show notes. Well, I guess that's all we have from this like, incredibly international episode.


Jason Chatfield  25:22

Worldwide now, right.


Jenifer Chatfield  25:23

So that's right. Okay. Well, I'm from Cambodia,


Jason Chatfield  25:26

Dr. Luke gamble for Cambodia.


Jenifer Chatfield  25:28

And he did. He did have a took took,


Jason Chatfield  25:31

yeah, several right. He didn't get tired. That's right. That's


Jenifer Chatfield  25:35

right. Okay, so that's what we have for you guys today. I'm Dr. Jenn the vet. And I'm Dr. Jason. And we'll catch y'all on the next episode. The professional Animal Care certification council or pat brings independent testing and certification to the pet care services industry is your dog daycare or boarding kennel or a groomer manned by pack certified professionals? Don't know if you don't know you got to ask. Look for the pack emblem at your facility to make sure that your pets receiving the highest level of professional pet care because we all know it's safer in a pack your pack CEE code for this episode is cc 22008 For



this episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses,


Jenifer Chatfield  26:34

Merck animal health the makers of Noby vac vaccines