Confirmed Canine Rabies Diagnosis on the Peninsula – Please Don’t Panic

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Officials are investigating one confirmed case of rabies and a second suspected case, in the Capri community on the Cape Peninsula.  The dogs were from the same household, and, as a precautionary measure, were humanely euthanised at a private veterinary practice.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is in liaison with the Boland State Veterinary Services and other authorities, and we’re standing by to offer our assistance via proactive vaccination of animals in the area and wherever else necessary to prevent the spread of this deadly disease and to ensure the safety and well-being of both animals and the community.

Rabies is a viral and highly fatal disease that is mostly transmitted from animals to humans.  It is transmitted mainly via a bite from an already infected animal, but exposure may also occur through contamination of broken skin or mucous membranes with saliva from an infected animal. 

Vaccination of pets is the most effective way of protecting humans and animals from exposure to this potentially deadly virus.

Vaccination of dogs and cats against rabies is compulsory in South Africa in accordance with the Animal Diseases Act, Act 35 of 1984. All dogs and cats must receive their rabies vaccination at 3 months of age, usually in conjunction with or at the same time as the normal 5-in-1 vaccine. A follow up rabies vaccination is due within one year and thereafter every three

Rabies prevention starts with pet owners.  Please protect yourself, your pet and your community by getting your animals vaccinated. 

The signs of Rabies in animals can vary and people need to be aware of changes in behaviour:

Either an aggressive or wild animal becoming tame and calm, or

A calm animal becoming aggressive,

Paralysis or partial paralysis,

Abnormal vocalisation (dogs barking strangely),

Animals attacking inanimate objects (like biting rocks or trees),

Hydrophobia (fear of water) and foaming at the mouth, among others. 

If you are bitten, wash bite wounds with soap and fresh running water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention immediately thereafter.  If your pet is bitten, consult your veterinarian immediately.  Prompt and appropriate treatment after a bite can stop rabies infection from developing and prevent the disease in both humans and animals.

Rabies vaccinations are provided to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA by the Department of Agriculture and are administered at no extra charge to the public.  Please visit our onsite animal hospital in Grassy Park or any of our mobile clinics located within communities to make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up to date. Our mobile clinic schedule is available here https://capespca.co.za/services/mobile-clinics/

Please vaccinate your pets against Rabies

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