Anti-rabies campaign held in Trongsa

Dogs caught during the campaign
Dogs caught during the campaign

1-19 July, Trongsa: In order to control the dog births and its population effectively, a campaign was organised in Trongsa focusing on sterilisation and vaccination against anti-rabies. Such program will reduce a risk of rabies both in human and other animals.

The campaign was conducted for nineteen days at various locations namely, Sherubling Higher Secondary School (HSS), Institute of Language and Culture Studies, Taktse HSS, Samcholing Middle Secondary School (MSS) and Community Primary School (PS); Langhtel MSS, Tongtophey PS, Tsangkha PS, Chendipjee PS, Bembjee PS, Mangdechu project areas, surge shaft, power house, town and police colony etc.

Officials from the Dzongkhag Veterinery Hospital along with the geog extension staffs at their area carried out the campaign forming three groups of pre-anesthetic, surgeon and post-operative care.

During the campaign, 561 animals (dogs and cats) were vaccinated and 470 were sterilised. Sterilisation has been pivotal in reducing canine over-population as it controls breeding indiscriminately. However, few animals were left intact due to their advanced pregnancy, lactating dam, sickness and unwillingness of owner to neuter while few escaped during catching.

Following the sterilisation, the dogs were given antibiotic, analgesic and antihistamics to take care of post operative complications. The geog staffs were advised to take care of complications, if occurred any. The animals brought were also treated against skin diseases (mange), Transmissible Venereal Tumor and de-worming.

Many farmers did not agree to sterilise their male dogs as they wanted it to be aggressive enough for guarding home, crops and domestic animals from wild predators. They allowed sterilsiation for female dogs only considering that they multiplies population and create unhealthy environment.

Dog sterilisation being done
Dog sterilisation being done

Yet, the campaign proved to be a success particularly due to dog catchers’ incentive of Nu. 30/dog. The dog catchers were mainly students who were well trained on the dog catching technique before campaign.

One of the drawbacks noticed during the campaign included the high risk for students getting bitten as they were the main dog catchers’. It was felt necessary that the officials carrying out the campaign should receive pre-exposure anti-rabies vaccine and more awareness program to enlighten people on rabies should be in place as they are still ignorant on its risk.

The campaign was organised by the Trongsa Dzongkhag Livestock Sector with fund support from the Mangdechu Hydroelectric Project Authority (MHPA). The Sector expresses its gratitude to all the stakeholders for their cooperation and active participation during the campaign.

Do you know that humane sterilisation helps:

  • To reduce potential threat to human health as rabies is a fatal zoonotic disease.
  • Effective form of birth and population control
  •  Increases life expectancy of dogs,  several health benefits, prevent mammary tumor and ovary cancer  in females, and  testicular and prostate cancer in males
  • Assist in eliminating dramatic behaviour like marking behaviour, territorialism and also change the temperament of the dog

-Submitted by Dr. Samten Wangmo, Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospital, Trongsa

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