DOH-Cordillera alarmed over dog bite increase-A A +A
Sunday, March 17, 2013
THE Department of Health–Cordillera revealed an increase of dog-bite victims positive with rabies in the region.
Dr. Marilou Pakoy, Baguio City Health Services Office head of the Animal Bite Center, and Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Veterinarian Dr. Ofelia Ducayag said there were 10 cases of dog bites in Cordillera in 2012.
Ducayag said these cases are positive of rabies virus.
The city has recorded the highest number of cases wherein Tabuk and provinces recording mostly one case each. Ducayag added minimum cases were only recorded for the past years unlike 2012.
Pakoy said the country is at number five globally when it comes to rabies mostly on dogs. She revealed in 2011, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Isabela, and Cotabato were the places with high cases of dog bites.
Both officials advise the public to beware of dogs and other animals with rabies as DOH celebrates the rabies awareness month this March.
Authorities plead pet owners to be responsible enough to let their dogs be vaccinated in health centers. Free vaccinations of dogs will be provided this month.
Ducayag advised the people that if bitten, they should wash off the wounds with soap and water immediately then seek for medical attention.
Pakoy said the rabies symptoms tend to vary, so affected dogs may not show all the signs. Initial signs include behavior and personality changes, fearfulness, anxiety, shyness, withdrawal from people and other animals, and licking the site of the original bite wound.
Signs progress to restlessness, agitation and overreaction to sights and sounds. These lead to full-blown aggression, then disorientation followed by seizures. Dogs may also experience paralysis in the head and neck area. This causes inability to swallow, resulting in excess salivation, or “foaming at the mouth,” and respiratory distress.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 18, 2013.