Rumpy Madaan, Devinder Kaur
I love animals, be it a dog, cat, or a horse ,but working with animals and being a voice for their rights I come across people scared or anxious about man animal interactions . The major concern most of the time is contacting Rabies.
Getting the facts about rabies is not easy. Myths and misconceptions are as strong today as they were 4,000 years ago when rabies was first recognized. When the average person today thinks about rabies, they typically imagine dogs gone wild, foaming at the mouth, and painful shots.
Ignorance about rabies can be hazardous to your personal health and well being, as well as the safety of family members, beloved pets and livestock. Understanding the facts about rabies, as provided in this article, can help prevent the spread of the disease, ease your concerns, or even save a life.
Rabies is entirely preventable and the tools to do so are readily available. A combined approach, consisting of education and awareness combined with vaccination of domestic animals, has been repeatedly documented to eliminate dog rabies and human exposures. Reducing human rabies deaths through effective dog rabies control is less costly than through increasing the use of costly human vaccine.
Rabies is not only caused by a stray dog bite but also by your unvaccinated pets . Be a responsible owner. Vaccinate and deworm your pet on schedule . Deworm every 3 months and anti rabies vaccine to be administered every year.
Rabies can also be caused by rat bite, bats, monkeys, cats , termites , wild animals like foxes and wolves.
1)All stay dogs are not Rabid, nor frothing or excessive salivation a symptom of Rabies. Frothing at the mouth can be due to various other reasons like a dog can be suffering from tick fever, canine distemper, ringworms, dehydration ,liver failure.
2) Until the rabies virus reaches the brain, a bite from an infected animal does not transmit the disease to its victim.
3)A person cannot contract rabies from the blood, feces or urine of an infected animal, or from handling a carcass that is dried or mummified.
4)Bats can bite a victim without leaving a visible trace and present a unique danger for rabies infection.
Bats could also carry the rabies virus. People who are awake will feel a pinch when bitten by a bat. But, when asleep, the bat’s needle-like teeth may leave no noticeable wound. Because a few cases have proven rabies as the cause of death in individuals found asleep in a room with a bat, state governments have taken special steps to educate their residents.
5) Human-to-human transmission of rabies is possible, but very rare.
There have been 8 confirmed cases of death due to human-to-human rabies transmission as the result of a corneal transplant operation.
6) Treatment for rabies in humans who have been bitten by a rabid animal is 100% effective if given within 24 to 48 hours after the bite occurred.
7) Five doses of rabies vaccine administered over a 28 day period, at day 0, day 3, day 7, day 14 and day 28. One half the dose of the HRIG is injected in the region of the bite, if possible, with the remainder injected into muscle tissue away from the bite.
Provide your pets and livestock with rabies vaccine as advised by your family veterinarian. Keep rabies pet vaccines current.
Keep pets away from wildlife and don’t let them wander loose through the neighborhood.
Contact the proper authorities if you see changes in normal behaviour in an animal such as a dog that is friendly starts to avoid people; animals may become aggressive, make strange noises or erratic movements, and attack other animals or humans or even heavy machinery. They may have trouble walking, drinking, swallowing, or chewing. An infected animal may not be able to close its mouth, and may appear to be choking or even act suicidal, very much ‘out of its mind’ type behavior”.
What should you do if bitten by a Rabid or suspected rabid animal?
Prompt treatment is required to prevent a rabies infection. First, flush the bite or wound area with water for at least one full minute. Follow up by washing with soap (or detergent if soap is not immediately available) to remove saliva containing the virus. Then apply a disinfectant such as rubbing alcohol, bleach, or iodine tincture directly on the wound and under skin flaps to stop the rabies from being absorbed into the body tissue. Then get to your doctor or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Keep contact information handy for notifying the proper authorities about a possible rabid animal in the neighborhood.
Previously, the immunoglobulin was injected through the abdominal wall with a large needle which was extremely painful. Modern post-exposure vaccinations are just shots around the wound, arm or buttocks and NO LONGER the painful stomach injections people scare each other with.
A fear of dogs, also known as cynophobia, is a very common animal phobia. Animal phobias fall into a category known as specific phobias, as opposed to social phobias.
A phobia, in general, is an uncontrollable, irrational and persistent fear of something (an object, situation or activity).
Cynophobia, specifically, is the irrational and uncontrollable fear of dogs. Different people will have different levels of fear towards dogs. Some may need to be in the presence of a dog to feel the fear, others simply need to be thinking of a dog. Whatever your level of fear towards dogs, there are ways to help you overcome that fear.
This menace is just like that of chain snatching, thefts, roadside brawls, sexual harassment, and rape attempts. Can society kill people who commit these crimes?
NGOs and government institutions like veterinary hospitals can take charge of the situation and aim for 100% sterilisation. Authorities should introduce immediate response vans for catching stray dogs. These should be taken to veterinary hospitals for sterilisation, vaccination and deworming.
Scientific and humane option of ABC and ARV is only long term solution to this problem. Do not help the corporations in your states to take up easy and short term measures like dislocation of dogs from your localities, nor poisoning ,as it will not give you and your state a long term solution to the problem but only a patchwork effect. Insist on sterlization of your area dogs and insist that they are bought back and relocated in your locality . This will stop further multiplication in your area, as well as these sterlized dogs will not let unfamiliar and unsterlized dogs enter your locality. In a way you have healthy vaccinated Guardians of your locality. In case these sterlized dogs are not bought back to your locality then the purpose will be defeated, The unsterlized and unvaccinated dogs from other localities will migrate from adjoining areas in no time.
“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
Rumpy Madaan, Devinder Kaur