Sunday, 27 April 2008

Rabies - a deadly disease - Keep It Out!

This is a picture of a rabid dog.

(It isn't the puppy mentioned below)

Did you see the report on the puppy with rabies at the quarantine kennels?

It bit 3 people - 2 members of staff and someone from the dog rescue involved.

Fortunately they were vaccinated against rabies, so only had to have boosters just in case. All the same, they have to wait and see. Not very nice for them. I wish them well.

Rabies is a very nasty slow painful death. It is spread by saliva - which is why a bite is so dangerous.

If it is not treated before the virus gets to the brain, then death is the outcome.

UK quarantine laws guard us against it becoming a problem here.

Imagine we had rabies here. Would you go anywhere near a strange dog? And what sort of measures would the government take? Would all domestic pet dogs have to be muzzled in public? I'm not saying that would happen, but as there seems to be a liking for heavy-handed measures in the UK now, who knows?

It was suggested on the news that the quarantine laws were going to be relaxed - it didn't say how. This is crazy considering what has just happened!

The quarantine system may be a nuisance for pet owners, but it does seem to work.

The pet passport scheme will NOT prevent rabies from coming to the UK. What it does is to allow responsible owners to take their dogs with them to some countries without having to go into quarantine on return to the UK.

I knew a guy who was bitten by a rabid dog some years ago. He had to have 20 injections into his stomach. Not nice, but it saved his life. Vaccinations have improved a lot since then!

It is possible that somebody will smuggle an infected dog into the country. The dog may seem very friendly but could be infected - the rabies virus may have not yet taken hold. Please don't ever feel tempted to bring a dog in without going through quarantine. No matter how appealing the poor stray is, or how bad the conditions from which it needs rescuing - don't do it!

You can always contact the British embassy, find out if there is a rescue who can help. If not they can tell you what you need to do to bring it home. If it is a bad case, how about contacting the media and drum up some support?

Just a few thoughts on the problem! Bye for now, Ti

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