Pet owners urged to vaccinate animals against rabies

Windhoek-The Ministry of Health and Social Services has urged pet owners to vaccinate their animals against rabies. Public relations officer in the Health Ministry Manga Libita said there is a shortage of anti-rabies vaccine in the country at present and that is the case globally.

We have got too many dog bites. Most of the dogs are not vaccinated against rabies and that is worrying, said Libita. If a dog with rabies bites a human that person can contract rabies, which is potentially fatal, she explained. We should avoid that by all means, Libita stressed.

She said many pet owners do not care for their pets and stressed that owners should be more caring towards their animals.

Dr Annie Marggraff, a veterinarian at Windhoek Animal Hospital also stressed that animals should be vaccinated against rabies to prevent the pets from contracting the disease. She also explained that dogs and cats can contract the disease from bites from squirrels and wild animals, such as jackals.

Symptoms of rabies in dogs can vary, but in most cases the animal behaves strangely and salivates excessively, said Marggraff, who emphasised that prevention is always better than cure.

Rabies in animals can be fatal, Marggraff warned. She advised that if humans are bitten by a dog that is suspected to have rabies they should seek medical attention immediately.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia