VACCINATION CAMPAIGN

Rabies a threat in Nyandarua, warns veterinarian

Farmers should be worried if they notice pica, seizures, paralysis, dropped jaw, and inability to swallow among dogs and cats

In Summary

• Residents urged to be vaccinated against rabies within 24 hours of being bitten by a dog

• Rabies is a viral disease that causes the inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals

 

Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia (second left) was among residents who witnessed veterinarians Desmond Tutu and Mary Njuguna vaccinate dogs at Engineer stadium on Wednesday
GOOD JOB: Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia (second left) was among residents who witnessed veterinarians Desmond Tutu and Mary Njuguna vaccinate dogs at Engineer stadium on Wednesday
Image: Ndichu Wainaina

Rabies has no cure and the only remedy against the disease is vaccination, farmers in Nyandarua have been told.

They should take their animals, especially dogs, cats and donkeys for vaccination as the viral disease is prevalent especially in Kinangop constituency due to proximity to the Aberdare forest where wild dogs and foxes live.

Domestic animals are bitten by these creatures.

Veterinarian Desmond Tutu of the TNR Trust on Wednesday stressed the importance of educating farmers on the viral diseases spread through animal bites.

Tutu spoke at Engineer stadium during a field day organised by Nyandarua Department of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries and the Kenya Veterinary Board.

Hundreds of dogs, cats and donkeys were vaccinated and treated for other ailments.

“We have vaccinated over 200 dogs and more are still coming. We target to vaccinate at least 1,000 dogs,” Tutu said.

Tutu said farmers should be worried if they notice pica, fever, seizures, paralysis, hydrophobia, dropped jaw, and inability to swallow among dogs and cats. 

Other symptoms include a change in tone of bark, poor muscular coordination, unusual shyness or aggression, excessive excitability, constant irritability or changes in attitude and behaviour, hypersalivation and frothy saliva.

“Any dog which shows such signs must be removed from the village immediately and the government informed for appropriate action," Tutu said.

He encouraged residents to take dogs to veterinarians for birth control unless they are dog breeders for business purposes.

Mary Njuguna, the officer in charge of Disease Control in Njabini, Kinangop, said a dog bitten by rabid wild animals runs aimlessly biting any moving object a few days after later.

Njuguna urged residents to be vaccinated against rabies within 24 hours of being bitten by a dog. “If you exceed 24 hours, chances are that you will lose your life," she said.

The field day was also attended by Governor Francis Kimemia, who commended farmers for bringing their animals for vaccination.