Public urged to vaccinate domestic animals

2019-05-29 06:01
Animal health technician Thokozile Mhlongo (left) vaccinates a dog in Greytown. PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

Animal health technician Thokozile Mhlongo (left) vaccinates a dog in Greytown. PHOTO: ANDILE SITHOLE

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THE public is urged to vaccinate their pets after a dog in Greytown tested positive for rabies in the Ahrens area recently.

In another incident, a stray dog, also in the Ahrens area, tested positive for the deadly viral disease.

Various teams of veterinary surgeons were dispatched in the uMvoti area to vaccinate dogs on May 21 following the two incidents.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development spokesperson Phathiswa Mfuyo said the department has ongoing vaccination programmes in KZN that monitor the spread of the rabies in the province.

Mfuyo confirmed that, after two dogs tested positive in Greytown, no people were affected.

“We are calling on all dog owners to vaccinate their dogs at their nearest veterinary offices. The department will issue a time table with a list of the areas that our veterinary [surgeon] will be visiting.

“Rabies can kill, and to avoid fatalities this should be treated as an emergency.

“When someone gets bitten by an infected animal, they should wash the wound under tap water and thereafter visit the doctor immediately.

“The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal with virus laden saliva entering the wound and attacking the nerve cells. However, if the wound is immediately washed with soap and placed under running water for five to 10 minutes, disinfectant is applied and correct treatment is sought immediately, it is preventable,” Mfuyo said.

SYMPTOMS OF AN INFECTED DOG

• Starring eyes

• Chewing strange objects

• Aggression – often biting will only occur when stimulated by sound, touch, movement, etc

• Depression

• Salivation, can’t swallow, appears to have something stuck in throat

• Strange vocalisations — howling, barking

• Dog will wander off

• Changes in behaviour as the brain of the dog is affected by the virus.

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