Durban - There are health concerns for people and their pets who came into contact with a stray dog in Westville after it was discovered that it had been infected with rabies.
The dog had been wandering around central Westville near Blair Athol Road on Wednesday. It was eventually caught in Palmiet Drive by the public and handed over to the Kloof and Highway SPCA.
Westville resident Steve Smit, founder of Monkey Helpline, who with the assistance of another resident caught the dog said the state health department had been informed and they would be visiting the Westville area on Friday.
Barbara Patrick, Kloof and Highway SPCA manager, said they had collected the dog and brought it back to our SPCA.
"The dog was displaying very aggressive and “possible rabies” behaviour and was immediately humanely euthanised and sent for rabies testing. The results were received on Thursday afternoon and confirmed to be positive," she stated.
Smit was concerned about the health and safety of the dogs and people who had come into contact with the dog. Patrick said the state health department has been in contact with the people who may have come into contact with the dog.
"It is always a concern when people and animals come into contact with a positive rabies case. Once again the Kloof and Highway SPCA reminds everyone that they need to ensure that their pets are kept in secure properties, microchipped or have a form of identification and most importantly are vaccinated annually, including against rabies. Rabies kills and there is no cure sadly," Patrick added.
Smit said the dog had been aggressively scuffling with other dogs through the fences. One of the residents tried to catch it unaware of its condition but it ran off further down the road.
"The woman got into her car and managed to box the dog in with the help of the security guard near the security hut. I was contacted for assistance because I live nearby. I could see the dog was not in a good health," Smit said.
Rabies is a viral disease that causes inflammation of the brain in humans and other mammals. It is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human.