Cape Town pet owners warned to be on extra alert for rabies ‘outbreak’

Cape Town pet owners warned to be on extra alert for rabies 'outbreak'

Agriculture MEC Dr Ivan Meyer confirms that officials are vaccinating pets in Khayelitsha and affected areas this week in response to the cases. Picture Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services confirmed that they had received laboratory results on Monday confirming rabies in two dogs in Khayelitsha.

Investigations are currently under way to determine the source of the outbreak. According to the Western Cape Veterinary Service head, Dr Gininda Msiza, rabies is a viral disease affecting animals and people.

“It is transmitted by saliva or other body fluids, and a dog or person can be infected by being bitten, scratched or licked by a rabid animal,” Msiza said.

“However, rabies is very easy to prevent by vaccinating dogs and cats.”

Agriculture MEC Dr Ivan Meyer confirms that officials are vaccinating pets in Khayelitsha and affected areas this week in response to the cases.

“Our Animal Health technicians began vaccinating dogs and cats in the area yesterday. We are working closely with the welfare organisations and medical doctors to check on contacts and any people who may have been bitten and need treatment,” Meyer said.

“If you suspect that you have had contact with a rabid animal, getting preventative treatment as soon as possible saves your life. Wash any bite or scratch wound thoroughly with soap and water, and then go immediately to your doctor or clinic to get rabies vaccinations.

“The sooner you receive treatment, the better you will be protected against rabies.”

According to Msiza, dogs with rabies often show a behaviour change and become suddenly aggressive or unusually tame for no reason.

“Dogs with rabies struggle to swallow and often walk around with their mouths open, drooling or making choking sounds as if they have something stuck in their throat.

“If you suspect a dog has rabies, do not touch it and contact your nearest private or state veterinarian immediately.

“Pet owners are encouraged to be vigilant and to take their pets to their private veterinarian or animal welfare organisation to make sure their rabies vaccinations are up to date,” concludes Meyer.

For more information, contact the chief state veterinarian Dr Gary Buhrmann via email: [email protected], telephone 021 808 5026 or visit the website

Source: IOL

No more bad breath with Montego’s New Bags O’ Wags Denties

No more bad breath with Montego’s New Bags O’ Wags Denties

Say bye-bye to bad breath with Montego Pet Nutrition’s new Bags O’ Wags Denties. These dental treats are flavoursome, highly nutritious, and made with only natural colourants. They are also super long lasting and suitable to keep all dog breeds busy for ages.

Available in four fun shapes and various size, from extra small (XS) for smaller breeds to large treats (XL) for big dogs. Ensuring there is something for all dogs to find their favourite Dentie. These include our Tip Top Toothbrush, Barktastic Bones, Full O’ Fun Frogs and Roarsome Dinos.

The different shapes and sizes, as well as intricate dents and grooves found on the treat assist in cleaning your dog’s teeth, prevents tartar build-up, and double up as a great toy for fun and play.

“Your pets dental hygiene is an important aspect of their health and wellbeing. This is why we are particularly excited about this new variant of uniquely shaped treats.” said Wilfred Cawood, Marketing Executive at Montego Pet Nutrition.

Find Bags O’ Wags Denties at your nearest retailer ranging from an RRP of R30.00 per pack. Visit for more information.

Source: Montego


True rescue story entertains, educates and debunks stigma about pit bulls

True rescue story entertains, educates and debunks stigma about pit bulls

Tego, now living his best life after being rescued by the Wattam family.Photo: SUPPLIED

A powerful message of hope, love, and acceptance is being shared by the Wattam family, who wrote a book based on their very own journey of adopting a pit bull from an animal rescue shelter.

The book titled The Adventures of Patchy Moon Dog, published on April 25, has been written by Nelson Mandela Bay resident Mandy Wattam, while daughter, Lara Wattam’s creative illustrations depict the emotions of the main character, Patchy Moon Dog.

True rescue story entertains, educates and debunks stigma about pit bulls

Tego with his human sister Lara Wattam, who is also the talented illustrator of the book. Photos: SUPPLIED

Mandy Wattam shared, “Our family’s experience of rescuing dogs and not only our pit bull, Tego, has blessed us with a powerful message to tell. Through imparting knowledge in a story form relatable to all ages, we hope to help debunk the stigma of aggression associated with pit bulls and encourage other families to enrich their lives by adopting pets from animal shelters.”

Heartrending at times, this illustrated book is based on the true story of the rescue and rehoming of Tego, a.k.a. Patchy Moon Dog. This story is often fun filled but has moments of danger and suspense to grab and hold the attention of children of all ages.

The ensuing adventures are underlined with depth, gentleness and love, which draw one in and develop a sense of empathy and understanding in the reader.

There is much to learn from these pages, including the importance of animal rescue organisations and the dedication of people working there, and about the value and joy of animals, particularly dogs, in one’s life.

True rescue story entertains, educates and debunks stigma about pit bulls

The front cover of the book.

Parents reading aloud to younger children will enjoy sharing the warmth, laughter, and sense of anticipation as the story unfolds.

Older children will find it hard to put down at bedtime and may have enriching dreams of the Patchy Moon Dog and the magic he spreads.

The true rescue story of a Patchy Moon Dog melts hearts, educates, and continues to support rescue initiatives by donating a portion of book sales to animal rescue associations.

  • The book is available for purchase from the author in a softcover A5 at R90, softcover A4 at R140, or a hardcover A4 at R190.

Contact Mandy Wattam at 083 611 1355 or [email protected]. Alternatively, purchase a Kindle edition from Amazon.

Source: News 24

Pet diabetes is not a death sentence

Pet diabetes is not a death sentence

Monitoring a diabetic pet’s blood glucose gives veterinarians the data they need to better manage a diabetes treatment plan.

Globally, and in South Africa, pet diabetes is on the rise, and pet owners are looking for health management plans to keep their fur babies happy, healthy and living longer lives.

“It’s important for pet owners to understand that diabetes is not a death sentence for their pet,” said Tarryn Dent, diagnostic and technical manager at Zoetis South Africa, a global animal health company.

“We’ve found that a lack of awareness can either lead to a missed diagnosis because pet owners don’t know what to look for or if a pet is diagnosed with diabetes, many owners think that there is nothing left for them to do when the opposite is true.

“With consistent management, diabetes should have a minimal impact on pet owners and their pets’ daily routines.”

This management includes at-home blood glucose monitoring, insulin, diet and an exercise plan through which every pet can live an active and happy life with diabetes.

Proactive health management

Type I and Type II diabetes in pets is more common than many pet owners think.

Indications that could point to pet diabetes include unexplained fatigue or weakness, excessive thirst, frequent urination, an increased appetite and sudden weight loss.

“Pet owners who recognise any of these signs should ask their veterinarian to check for diabetes,” said Dent.

“It’s a simple blood or urine test, and then a management plan can be put in place.”

Dent has long advocated for proactive diagnostics for pets, and diabetes screening is a perfect example of how beneficial diagnostics can be for pet owners.

“Annual screenings can track if there have been any changes, particularly in insulin and glucose levels.

The sooner an issue is picked up, the sooner it can be managed.”

Home screening is another option for pet owners who know that their pets experience elevated levels of stress at the vet or outside their normal routines as stress can cause non-routine blood spikes in sugar levels.

Four simple steps to manage pet diabetes

The goal of any diabetes treatment is to control the amount of glucose in a cat or dog’s blood, which will reduce symptoms and help minimise or prevent complications.

Each diabetes plan is personalised to the pet and its owner and could include all or some of these protocols:

  • Insulin injections
    Insulin dosing involves giving a pet a small insulin injection based on a specific dose and schedule. The injection is painless but it’s important to keep track of the time and amount of insulin that a pet receives.
  • Diet
    Diets that eliminate or reduce sugar surges are usually preferred and can help pets lead long and healthy lives. Any changes in diet should be monitored, however, and the amount of food and water consumed should be tracked, as this will help a veterinarian determine if the diet is having a positive impact on an animal’s diabetes.
  • Exercise
    Consistency in a pet’s daily exercise schedule is critical for diabetes management. If daily activity levels vary, an animal may require different amounts of insulin. Weekly weight checks can also monitor a pet’s health.
  • Blood glucose monitoring
    Monitoring a diabetic pet’s blood glucose gives veterinarians the data they need to better manage a diabetes treatment plan. Typically, a veterinarian will either need to take several readings over a specified time frame or a pet owner can take the readings at home using an at-home glucose monitor.

Although it may initially appear daunting to a pet owner to be monitoring their pet’s glucose levels at home, there are benefits to this. Stress and changes in an animal’s eating regime can have significant effects on glucose levels.

Home testing allows veterinarians to get a complete picture of the pet’s glucose in their natural environment, eliminating the effects of being in hospital.

Fortunately, there are animal-specific, accurate and most importantly, easy-to-use glucometers available that require a very small sample size to help pet owners easily do at-home testing for their diabetic animals.

Source: Benoni City Times

Miracle dog overcomes deadly canine parvovirus

Miracle dog overcomes deadly canine parvovirus

Silvia Plaatjies, 58, said she “has no words” to express how happy she is that her puppy is feeling and looking so much better after he underwent his treatment to cure the disease.

  • A dedicated Cape Town dog owner travelled far to get treatment for her sick pup at the Animal Welfare Society last week.
  • The dog was diagnosed with parvovirus, a highly infectious disease that can be fatal.
  • The AWS says they treat five to 10 parvovirus cases per day and in some cases the animals don’t make it.

A Cape Town dog managed to overcome the deadly parvovirus after his owner sprang into action to save it after it became ill.

Sylvia Plaatjies, 58, from Tambo Village near Manenberg, said she noticed her dog, My Baby, was not eating and did not move around as he usually did.

In fact, Plaatjies said it became clear that My Baby wanted to do nothing else but sleep.

“I initially thought the dog had worms, so I took him to a nearby pet shop in the area and they referred me to the Animal Welfare Society of SA (AWS) because the staff felt there was something seriously wrong with the dog,” she said.

The mom of three said getting her dog to AWS wasn’t easy.

“I had to take two taxis and then had to walk for about an hour to get to the animal welfare hospital.”

“My dog was sick, and I wasn’t going to let him suffer like that, so I walked with him to the shelter so that they could help him,” she added.

AWS nursing staffer Jacque le Roux said when the dog arrived at the shelter staff members assessed it in the hospital ward, where it was discovered that it had parvovirus, a highly infectious disease that can be fatal.

“We let the owner know immediately that we will do everything we can to save the patient’s life and that we could not confirm if the pup would make it or not. The dog was not in good condition at all,” he added.

AWS said the owner waited several hours for My Baby while they treated him. The dog was eventually put on a drip.

“The puppy showed huge signs of improvement and we were able to send him home the very same day. However, he needed to come back for more treatment each day until the disease was cured,” Le Roux said.

According to AWS, Plaatjies walked to the shelter every day to check on her dog. Saturday was its last day of treatment.

“We were in awe at how happy and full of life the pup looked when he came in on Saturday for his last dose of the drip treatment. It was hard to believe that just on Thursday the dog was at death’s door and now he has almost 100% recovered,” Le Roux said.

Plaatjies said she was overjoyed to have her baby back home with the family.

Plaatjies added:

Oh, I’m so happy My Baby is back home with us and doing so much better. All those long walks to AWS were all worth it. I’m so thankful to God and the AWS staff.

Plaatjies said she named the dog My Baby because it was her “last-born” and brought them lots of smiles.

She added that the dog was prescribed medication for a few days. My Baby will be going back to the shelter after seven days to check its progress.

AWS spokesperson Allan Perrins said parvovirus is not contagious to people but can be spread from young pups to adult dogs.

He said:

AWS treats five to 10 parvo cases per day and, in some cases, the animals don’t make it, which is why we encourage members of the public to vaccinate their dogs as early as possible to prevent this deadly disease from killing the animals.

Perrins said some of the parvovirus signs to look out for in dogs are severe and often bloody diarrhoea, fever, not eating, fatigue and rapid dehydration.

AWS said vaccinations can be done at the shelter at a cost of R100.

Source: News 24

Unrest relief: International society donates 22 tonnes of dog food

Unrest relief: International society donates 22 tonnes of dog food

The Humane Society International donated 22 tonnes of pet food to animal welfare organisations who are struggling after the recent unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Photograph: Humane Society International

The unrest that recently swept through parts of South Africa did not leave animal welfare and pet rescue organisations unscathed. 

Most were forced to stop their work for safety reasons and close their shelter doors, meaning that their stock of veterinary medicines and pet food began to run dry too.

While South Africans unite to rebuild and restock supermarket shelves in parts of the country after the recent, pet care organisations that were affected by the unrest have received a helping hand from global animal welfare organisation, Humane Society International (HSI).

 HSI/Africa has provided 22 tons of dog food to animal welfare groups in Durban and Johannesburg as part of its disaster response efforts.

 The recent violence severely disrupted the work of these essential organisations that take veterinary care and supplementary food into underprivileged communities.  Mostly volunteer-run, they had to stop operating in the interests of safety, while those with kennels had to close their doors and face an ever-diminishing stock of pet food as supplies began to run dry.

 “Every rescue group we contacted as part of a local needs assessment had suspended operations and was critically low on pet food. One hadn’t been able to conduct their weekly outreach activities for the first time in six years because of the violence,” said HSI/Africa spokesperson Marisol Gutierrez.

 “We wanted to help them get back on track as soon as possible. Where there are socio-economic hardships in communities, these are greatly amplified for animals – and this includes hunger,” Gutierrez said.

 The rescue groups that benefitted from HSI/Africa’s disaster relief included Soweto Animal Rescue and Advisory (SARAC), Community-Led Animal Welfare (CLAW), The Dogs’ Trust, Animals in Distress, Hellen White in the Community, Kloof and Highway SPCA, Animal Anti-Cruelty League Durban, KZN Valley Dogs, Funda Nenja, Mazarat Animal Rescue, Pietermaritzburg Animal Rescue and Rehoming (PARR), Animal Antics, Border Collie Rescue, Phoenix Animal Care and Treatment (PACT), Cliffdale Animal Welfare, Project Dog, Animally Haven, Puppy SOS, Blue Bundu Brigade.

Source: The South African