Animal lovers are urged to have their pets vaccinated after three cases of rabies were reported in the Cape in one week.
And a state vet warns: “It’s important to get your animals vaccinated because once rabies is contracted by a human or an animal, it cannot be treated.”
Western Cape MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, says the cases were recorded in Malmesbury, Moorreessburg and outside Portville.
There were fears that the outbreak could reach Cape Town soon.
“In Malmesbury a cow was infected and later died,” Winde tells the Daily Voice.
“Tests confirmed a rabies infection. Three people who came into contact with the cow are under observation.”
“In Moorreesbury and Porterville, two bat-eared fox [were infected], and later killed.”
Winde says vets from the Department of Agriculture are standing by to vaccinate domestic animals.
“Symptoms of rabies include behavioural change, for instance a wild animal becomes tame, while a domestic animal becomes more aggressive. Another sign is difficulty swallowing,” Winde adds.
But State Vet, Dr Sewellyn Davey says there is no cause for panic yet.
“Those who are concerned can have their pets vaccinated annually at any state or private vet,” she says.
If you suspect an animal is infected, contact the State Vet or Animal Welfare Society, Philippi on 021 692 2626.