South Africa 28.11.2013 06:10 am

Vaccine drive after rabid cat attacks two

Cat. Image: supplied

Cat. Image: supplied

A previously friendly cat was confirmed to have have been infected with rabies after it turned viscious and bit two people in Sedibeng, the Gauteng government said in a statement.

The cat, which was fed by the same two people daily, was humanely euthenased after the Vanderbijlpark/Sasolburg and Districts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was called in – and the cat attacked and bit the SPCA inspector on the foot.

The cat had shown behavioural changes and become very aggressive and had exhibited excessive drooling – all symptoms of rabies. The disease was confirmed in post-mortem tests.

This is the first case of rabies in a pet in the Emfuleni area in the past seven years. Both people bitten by the cat were admitted to hospital.

Rabies is a disease affecting the brain and can lead to the death of the person or animal involved. Symptoms vary widely but include behavioural changes, aggressiveness and paralysis.

Symptoms can occur from seven days to six months after falling victim to the virus. It is spread through the saliva of rabid animals, and people are warned to avoid touching a strange or sick animal.

The Gauteng Veterinary Services has launched a booster vaccination campaign free to cat owners at the Barrage SA Police Service; the Noord Vaal Community Hall on the R42; and the Roads and Storm Water Emfuleni local municipality offices in Louisrus on December 2 between 9.30am and 4pm.

All dogs and cats over the age of three months that have not been vaccinated for rabies this year must get a jab. The public can choose to have the vaccination of their pets done by their private vet or by the state. – Citizen reporter.

 

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