On September 12, the Ludhiana MC was notified about the presence of a rabid dog near the cremation ground in the civil lines area, which had bitten a dozen people. (HT File)
On September 12, the Ludhiana MC was notified about the presence of a rabid dog near the cremation ground in the civil lines area, which had bitten a dozen people. (HT File)

Ludhiana MC fails to keep rabid dogs on tight leash

With a large number of dog bite cases being reported in the city on a daily basis, the Ludhiana MC has asked Ludhiana residents to be wary and report any dogs suspected to be suffering from the fatal virus
By Harsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2021 02:46 AM IST

Rabid dogs are emerging as a pestilent issue in the city, and have become a sore point for the municipal corporation, which incidentally has been unable to trace the diseased dog that bit around a dozen people in the areas near the cremation ground at Civil Lines three days ago.

The incident was not a one-off case, as four rabid dogs have been caught in different areas of the city over the last year. One diseased dog was caught near the Gill road grain market last week. The diseased dogs had died at the sterilisation centre of the Haibowal dairy complex. A postmortem had revealed that the canines were suffering from rabies, a fatal viral disease that spreads to people from the saliva of infected animals.

With a large number of dog bite cases being reported in the city on a daily basis, authorities have appealed the residents to be wary and report any dogs suspected to be suffering from the fatal virus.

Not all rabid dogs are caught. Significantly, an 11-year-old boy from Jaspal Bangar village succumbed to rabies in the last week of July, while a five-year-old girl who succumbed in Sarabha Nagar in October 2018, had exhibited symptoms typical of rabies before her death.

“Rabid dogs are certainly a cause of concern. On September 12, the department was notified about the presence of a rabid dog near the cremation ground in the civil lines area. Teams were dispatched to catch the dog and are still making rounds in the area. It is suspected that the dog might have succumbed to the disease. Announcements are being made in the area so that residents remain alert,” said MC veterinary official Dr HS Dhalla.

Social activist, Keemti Rawal, said panic has gripped residents after the dog bit a dozen residents, including two nurses.

Around 50,000 dogs have been sterilised to reduce the population of stray dogs and that the capacity of the sterilisation centre has also been increased to expedite the process. Teams are also on the lookout for rabid dogs. (HT Photo)
Around 50,000 dogs have been sterilised to reduce the population of stray dogs and that the capacity of the sterilisation centre has also been increased to expedite the process. Teams are also on the lookout for rabid dogs. (HT Photo)

Do not panic, but beware: Ludhiana MC vet

Dhalla said, “Residents should not panic. However, as there is no cure to the disease, residents are appealed to take precautions and report any suspected diseased canines to the civic body. Rabid dogs attack people, causing the disease to spread.”

“Those bitten, must immediately get the anti-rabies vaccine. Those bitten on the throat or on the mouth should also get the anti-rabies serum. The vaccine is available free of cost at the civil hospital. The teams carrying out sterilisation are also checking strays for viral symptoms,” said Dr Dhalla.

Rabies-free city

Around 50,000 dogs have been sterilised to reduce the population of stray dogs and that the capacity of the sterilisation centre has also been increased to expedite the process.The civic body is also working on the ‘Rabies-Free City’ project wherein free anti-rabies vaccines will be given to the stray dogs in the city.

Dhalla said, “The finance and contracts committee (F and CC) has already given approval for the project and the department is working to rope in the animal husbandry department for administering the vaccine to dogs.”

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