OUR FUR BABIES AND ANTHRAX
In recent times, there has been a lot of talk about an Anthrax outbreak and its potential impact on public health. The outbreak was confirmed in Nigeria by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) on the 17th of July, 2023. A strong talking point for a majority of Nigerians is the consumption of “ponmo,” a must have with your amala, abula, tinu eran and ogufe. As a veterinary clinic, we want to address these concerns and emphasize the importance of safeguarding both pets and humans during such outbreaks.
What is Anthrax?
Anthrax is a serious disease caused by the bacterium; Bacillus anthracis. It is zoonotic which means that it can be transmitted from animals to humans.
Can My Pet Be Infected? How?
Pets can definitely be infected by anthrax. Domestic animals get infected by breathing in or ingesting spores which have been formed by the bacterium. These spores are resistant to conditions that will ordinarily destroy other bacteria. The spore formation is another of many reasons why this disease is considered such a terrible threat that it was used as a weapon of bio-terrorism (Aum Shinrikyo, 2001). The spores exist in under-cooked and raw meat, so this is particularly of high importance to pet owners and breeders who religiously feed their pets raw meat in order to bulk their dogs up or to make them more aggressive. Multiple studies have shown that raw feeding does more harm than good (and even the amount of good it does is debatable), so in the face of a serious disease such as this, it is simply more advisable to steer clear of under-cooked or raw meat. This disease can lead to sudden death even in dogs that appear to be healthy.
How Can I Keep My Pet Safe?
- Prevent your pet from hunting animals as they might be infected and ingestion of meat from infected animals will result in an infection of your pet.
- Do not under any circumstances; feed your pet raw or under-cooked meat.
- Avoid contact with sick or ill-looking animals.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling animals and before touching your pet.
- If your pet shows any unusual symptoms like lethargy, fever or difficulty breathing, contact us at Petshaven Veterinary Services immediately.