In a development that may cause serious health concerns, the Government Veterinary Hospital at Sonsodo has reported a rise in cases of Leptospirosis in dogs around Margao.
Taking serious note of the rising Leptospirosis cases among dogs, mostly strays, in the city, the Animal Husbandry has sent an SOS to the Margao Municipal Council and the Margao Urban Health Centre to adopt precautionary measures to stop the further spread of the disease.
In the communique, Veterinary Officer Dr Malory Maria Ferrao has drawn the attention of the Margao Municipal Chief Officer and Margao Urban Health officer over the large number of cases reported for treatment in dogs for Leptospirosis at the Government Veterinary Hospital Sonsodo, Raia.
"Most of the dogs mainly strays (bought to hospital for treatment by rescuers) or pet-owned dogs belong to the areas in and around Margao i.e. SGPDA market, Gandhi market, areas in Borda, etc," Dr Malory stated in her letter.
She pointed out that the cases presented at the hospital are showing typical signs and symptoms of the same and appear to be of a very virulent strain with rapid deterioration of health and overall icteric discolouration within 24 hours.
Dr Malory said the disease is being transmitted in various modes through infected rodents, rats, rat urine, urine or contaminated water and soil, clogged drainage pipes, water puddles, ingestion of contaminated food and direct contact with urine of infected dogs or contaminated vectors.
The hospital has drawn the attention of the Margao Urban Health Centre and Margao Council to the host of steps that are required to be taken for the prevention and control of the disease.
The hospital has insisted on rodent population control measures, especially proper disposal of the carcass and steps to avoid the accumulation of water to reduce the risk of contamination.
The hospital has impressed upon the two authorities to take up sanitation of the predominantly affected areas by using proper disinfectants.
Dr Malory has also called for enforcing proper disposal of raw market waste to reduce the breeding of rodents. In the case of sick or affected animals, it has been suggested to ensure avoiding contact with bites and body fluids.
After SOS, MMC to rope in Pest Control of India:
Taking cognizance of the SOS received from the Veterinary Hospital, Sonsodo-Raia over the presence of Leptospirosis in dogs, the Margao Municipal Council has decided to rope in the Pest Control of India to take up spraying of pesticides in and around the city markets as a precautionary measure.
MMC officials pointed out that the agency is being approached to take up the work of spraying pesticides in a professional manner given the health concerns raised by doctors and officials of the Veterinary Hospital.