Rabies scare sparks search for pups

national April 09, 2014 00:00

By Sumalee Suwannakorn,
Anek Kra

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AUTHORITIES have declared an area around a dog seller's house in tambon Huai Kwang of Maha Sarakham's Kosum Phisai district as a temporary rabies-control zone until April 29.

Kosum Phisai Hospital has also provided free rabies vaccinations for residents living within 50 metres of the dog seller’s house.
The dog seller on February 27 sold three of five shih-tzu/poodle mix puppies at a market in the province’s Kantharawichai district. The remaining two puppies and the mother dog died last month and were found to have rabies. 
The three other pups have yet to be traced. 
The mother dog, which the seller kept, died on March 20 during sterilisation and tested positive for rabies. 
The two remaining pups, sent to the seller’s relatives in Bangkok, were later transferred to Phitsanulok and Buri Ram. 
They also died and tested positive for rabies. 
The news prompted many residents in the three provinces to seek vaccinations for themselves and their pet dogs. Officials urged those exposed to the pups to get vaccinated because the disease, without timely vaccination, could be fatal.
The puppy seller told officials the elusive pups were bought by some teenagers, possibly students at nearby Mahasarakham University (MSU). University officials are trying to track down the teenagers. After a meeting yesterday with related agencies, MSU Division of Student Affairs head Sunthorn Dejchai said that as there had not been any response to their appeals, it may not have been MSU students who bought the pups. Otherwise, the students might be from five faculties observing the Asean universities’ six-month break, he said.
Sunthorn said the university would meet again on Friday. 
It would continue to monitor pups at animal clinics and search for anyone who bought puppies, he said. Authorities were discussing preventive measures so a case like this doesn’t recur, he said.


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