Health  

Junks On Our Streets (2)

Petlife INDEED, the activities of those characters that bring in anything from overseas without being properly burnt in the crucible by the concerned authorities call for concern.

It has, in fact, reached a level that pet lovers, especially those who love dogs, should rise up and fight these mindless businessmen.

Apart from polluting the genetic pool of the breeds available in the country now, giving rise to breeds that have no character and no predictable traits, it has become an issue that has far-reaching implication on the health of the pet population in the country.

This is because of the ways the puppies are sourced in the first instance. They are mostly picked from itinerant breeders who have no regards for breeding and medical principles and do not care about the possible outcome of their actions.

Today, we are suffering the lack of good dogs and our landscape is already festooned with impure samples. I had already written about this and its untoward effects.

However, what troubles me now is the re-introduction of certain diseases that the veterinary industry in Nigeria has been tackling very aggressively and is almost at the point of success.

Such diseases include canine distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus infection, leptospirosis and other such puppy-hood diseases are almost being eliminated from our lexicon of diseases.

At least, I can recall vividly that when I started practice about 25 years ago, the average number of patients suffering from these diseases in a week could be anything between 10 and 15, as compared to less than five in six months now until very recently when an upsurge is noticed.

I have traced the source of the current increase to puppies imported into the country from certain countries. And I have observed that a lot of these puppies were brought in at very tender ages, some even less than eight weeks, when they were not yet qualified for immunisation.

A lot of times, these puppies are hurriedly vaccinated by quacks in such countries in order to secure papers for their export to Nigeria. Because the maternal immunity on those puppies may not have waned at the time of export, such immunisation only succeeds in neutralising the little immunity such puppies may be carrying, and coupled with the stress of travel, such illegal imports come down very easily with any of the diseases earlier mentioned.

And this comes on very often these days. The result has been that a lot of people have lost their puppies at very early ages, shortly after their arrival in Nigeria.

I have also noticed that the so-called vaccinations done in such countries, even when accepted to have been administered by a qualified vet, are not entirely protective for the kind of the diseases in Nigeria. For example, it has been observed that a lot of the puppies coming from South Africa are not vaccinated against Leptospirosis.

I do not know the reason, but I do know that quite a lot of our clients have lost their purchases to this terrible disease, because they have not allowed us to re-vaccinate, simply because these puppies have come from South Africa! Ah! Big deal! The story continues.

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