Residents in the Muldersdrift area in Gauteng have been urged to take their pets to the vets for proper vaccination as health authorities in Gauteng are presently battling a rabies outbreak in some areas.
There is a possibility that infected jackal will spread the disease to dogs in informal settlements in the area, posing great danger to the residents and leading to severe rabies outbreak.
As it is, several jackals, a cow, and a great dane have already tested positive to rabies.
A warning issued by Malcolm de Bude, the chief director of veterinary services at the Department of Agriculture, revealed that the viral disease was easily transferred from jackal to dog.
He added that once the virus takes its toll on a dog, the animal would travel up to 15km a day, biting and infecting other animals, thus, the disease spreads.
The deputy director of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Lucille Blumberg recounted a certain incident where a jackal charged into a hotel in the area and scratched somebody. Afterwards, the person was shot with the necessary vaccines, and should not contract rabies.
Once bitten, it is very important to arrest the situation before the rabies sets in because if it does, there is no cure for either animal or man. This is why pet owners are admonished to inoculate their pets properly and also monitor their behaviour in case of any strange changes.
Said Blumberg: “It is important that people be aware of wild animals that suddenly change behaviour and pet owners must ensure their animals are up to date with their rabies vaccinations.”
Recent study revealed that pet owners are liable to live a long healthy life.
However, without proper care, those pets might turn into a nightmare for their owners.