The maximum number of dog-bite cases usually occurs in September and October every year

Walkers have to be wary of stray dogs when they set out early in the morning to burn their calories. Going by the data available with the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, the maximum number of dog-bite cases occurs in September and October every year.

 Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent Isaac Christian Moses said instances of dog bites could prove fatal if the victim failed to adhere to the anti-rabies vaccine schedule, which could stretch from 30 to 90 days after being bitten. The CMCH had an isolation ward for rabies patients.

The severity of dog bites depended on the proximity of the wound to the human brain. Once the virus reached the brain, the patient would suffer from hydrophobia and die. Rabies spreads not only through dog bites but also through pigs, horses, bandicoots, cats, bats, monkeys and foxes.

 All victims of dog bites must immediately clean the wound in running water with anti-septic soaps. However, no dressing should be applied as it would facilitate the growth of rabies-causing virus. 

From the earlier procedure of administrating 14 to 21 injections around the abdomen to treat dog bites, new advanced vaccines such as chick embryo vaccine or human diploid cell vaccine could be administered in the hand. In some severe cases, immuno-globins are administered to patients. 

 These vaccines are administered, even without bites, to persons who are constantly close to animals. These include hunters, dog handlers, circus trainers, livestock assistants and even postmen, he added. 

Areas such as Pappanaickenpalayam, Avarampalayam, Singanallur, Nanjundapuram Road, Sowripalayam, Uppilipalayam, Ramanathapuram Post Office, Bharathi Nagar in Ramanathapuram area, Puliakulam, Bharathi Colony, Sai Baba Colony, Thadagam Road, Vadavalli, Rathinapuri, Ganapathy, Kavundampalayam, Sundarapuram and Podanur accounted for stray dog menace.

Coimbatore Corporation has an Animal Birth Control (ABC) facility at Seeranaickenpalayam to combat the menace of growing stray dog population. However, the number of ABC surgeries performed per day or per month was found to be inadequate to combat the growing menace.

The Seeranaickenpalayam facility was given a target of 10 surgeries per day. While the per day target was achieved most of the time, the number of surgeries per month i.e., 300, could not be achieved and was only around 150 to 200, pointed out Corporation sources.

With more added areas having become part of the jurisdiction of the Corporation, the pressure was also more on the local body.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner of Coimbatore Corporation S. Sivarasu told The Hindu the performance of ABC at Seeranaickenpalayam would be closely reviewed and the civic body was planning to open another facility at Ukkadam to step up the drive against stray dogs.

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