Rabies hits KZN, pet owners cautioned

File picture

File picture

The Kloof and Highway SPCA urges residents to ensure their pets have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.

The Kloof and Highway SPCA received its third positive case of rabies recently, Highway Mail reports. The NPO urges residents to ensure their pets are up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations.

According to the Kloof and Highway SPCA’s marketing and fund-raising officer, Brigitte Ferguson, it was the third case in the past three weeks.

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In December last year she noted a man took his dog to the SPCA’s clinic to have it euthanased as it bit his daughter. Her wounds were serious and she needed to be admitted to hospital.

“The dog had always been friendly and playful and had never made any attempt to bite anyone in the past. This vital information is what prompted the clinic to send the dog away for rabies testing,” said Ferguson.

She noted the only way to determine whether an animal is positive for the rabies virus is to test the brain. The animal needs to be euthanased before this test can be carried out by the state vet.

“The dog was positive for the rabies virus and was from the Caversham area. This is the third case of positive rabies we have dealt with in the past three weeks,” said Ferguson.

The other cases were from Molweni and Embo. She urged pet owners to vaccinate their pets. “It is a legal requirement to ensure that this is done. This can be done at our SPCA or your local veterinarian practice. There is no cure once the rabies virus is contracted.”

“Rabies vaccinations need to be done annually to ensure the vaccine remains effective, and thereby not only protects your four-legged companions but also your immediate family and community,” concluded Ferguson.

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