Dr. Rosario Menezes, the ever smiling effervescent and genial pediatrician from Vasco has been screaming hoarse about the dangers of Rabies in Goa, for years now. Mostly his advice has been ignored or at times, even ridiculed by the motley bunch of vociferous ‘animal lovers’.
And now, predictably, the chickens or shall we say the dogs have come home to roost.
The number of dog bite cases in our little state has increased so dramatically, that it almost certainly competes with the number of mining leases the Digambar Kamat government dishes out every month. If you do not die of mining pollution, there is a good chance you may die of rabies, in style.
I understand the morally sound and very persuasive arguments put forth by the sincere champions of animal rights and acknowledge the difficulty work put in by two of the most celebrated activists I know, the graceful and elegant Normal Alvares and Angela Kazi. Killing or torturing any form of life is perverse.
However, it is very evidently seems, the strategy is not working on the ground. The dogs are ferociously multiplying. The dogs are ferociously running around, the dogs are ferociously biting and many of the dogs are ferociously rabid.
So, from the human prism, I seek answers to a few of my very serious doubts.
1. How can anyone in our cities be sure that the confirmed rabid dogs have not bitten other stray animals, thus potentially delivering a rabies ‘dog’ – demic on our hands? Surely, strays do not have a complaint register, do they?
2. What if your child, unsupervised, gets licked by a rabid dog playing on the beach? often, kids also do not have a complaint register. Hence, if your child develops and dies of an encephalitis ( a brain infection), the virus could very well be a rabies virus and your pediatrician may be in the dark about it.
3. Any standard textbook mentions that Rabies Immune Globulin (RIG) must be given as standard prophylaxis for preventing rabies. RIG is expensive and almost never available in government hospitals. Hence, the standard rabies vaccine may not provide you 100 per cent cover. It is almost akin to using a ruptured condom and then taking yours bets on the pregnancy. Good luck mate!
4. Why is it that despite a great degree of love and compassion for animals in the western world, you never see strays frisking around as tourist attractions on the streets of Paris, London or New York. The only sophisticated stray currently running around there appears to be Rupert Murdoch and they are planning to assassinate him as well.
5. What if a red light minister or sarkari babu gets bitten by a stray dog, when apparently haggling for free fish at the market? Will we then see tangible, concreter action to rid the market of strays? Hell hath no fury like a minister bitten, but not shy.
6. Why is it that despite allegedly successful sterilization campaigns, the stray population multiplies faster than the Indian Mujaheedin?
7. Do we as doctors, consider rabies as a possible differential diagnosis in flaccid paralysis patients (weakness of lower limbs, upper limbs and face ) which ultimately kills. Rabies may not always present itself in its archetypal violent, aggressive neurological manifestation .
8. What is our strict enforcement of vaccination programmes for domesticated animals? Does anyone keep a log? Is there a fine on owners for non compliance? Did we know that even cat bites can lead to rabies? These creatures with ‘green eyes’ always cleverly escape public scrutiny.
9. Do I, as a tax paying or non tax paying citizen, have the inalienable human right to walk the streets of my town freely and fearlessly, not having to look over my shoulder as to when that crazy adorable son of a **** is going to bite my pants off or should is surrender that right to this nebulous and dangerous animal love?
10. Who pays compensation and costs of health care in case of rabies or should I even die in penury for this worthy cause. Statistics say that every dog bite leads to a negligible number of fatal rabies, but what if I am the fortunate one called to sacrifice my life? Am I prepared to be the hero? Has anyone even asked my permission if I was to be that hero? Has a memorial been erected to rabies victims in our country?
Let me confess. I abhor dogs!!Period ! Yeah, yeah! I know familiarargument goes, a dog is a man’s best friend and they have fluffy ears and they are loyal and all that jazz. But they also bite unprovoked.
I still recall fondly how, when on a home visit to see a patient, the domestic dog thought my tibia was fair game and sunk his bloody teeth into my leg. I had to take my shots, got paid a measly fee for my house call and had to endure the jolly guffaw of the pot-bellied owner when boomed,”Oh, Figo does that to only people he likes,” Heavens, what does he do to guys he hates?
So okay, maybe do not shoot them, torture them or position them. We all want our place in heaven after all. THE STRAYS MUST NECESSARILY GET OFF OUR STREETS and the animal lovers must show us the way, work out the solution. Now and pronto!
We, as Goans, have enough amount of misery inflicted on us by animals in our political arena. We do not need any further suffering of the whimsical, salivating teeth of our friendly, neighbor hood super dogs.


Trevor said...

Thanks Doc, for speaking out! Thank you for looking out for the welfare of the our people. Dogs can be man's best friend. They can be used to benefit man. Recently when a German Shepard was used to  sniff out Bin Laden, dog adoptions went thru' the roof. However in Goa we have a horrible situation with dogs. Most westerners comment with disgust to see so many dogs at the airport when flying into Goa. It won't be long before a plane crashes bec of a dog on the runway. We have a terrible menace in Goa with nothing being done except for a few foreigners who have come in to help with the situation. Our own people are too busy with their greed for money!  It won't be long before pacts of dogs will start roaming looking for prey i.e. small children. Sadly too the authorities are too busy with their jet set life, currently in London now at the tax payers expense. The people of Goa are to blame, they need to demand more of their politicians. The tourism minister spent ONE whole month in the US visiting Hollywood and Disneyland, did he not notice they weren't any stray dogs around???? Sadly we have all donkey running the government. And much more sadly we have too many Goans who are uneducated fools electing donkeys like themselves to destroy OUR Goa. Now the stupidity has even spread to Swindon....when are our people going to change? Too many donkeys trying to rule with their stupidity. Will the sane Goans please stand up!

Gobor said...

Doctor if " Killing or torturing any form of life is perverse"   than these animal lovers should not take tablets for cold that could kill germs.

Gobor said...

These animal lovers do not know what is important and what  comes FIRST. Its like putting the arse before the fart.

David Leitao said...

Dotor Oscar when dog bites a man its not news but when man bites a dod its news !!

When will these 40 chor MLAs sons of a ***ch learn to protect the law abiding Goan on the street !!

All these 40 chor MLAs need to be sent to the dogs pound with a one way ticket !!! Dr Oscar you please start calling the shots we support you !! Dr Oscar you are a visionary and a stateman !!!

D.JUSTIN said...

Well said David, we are not worried about dogs but we are more worried about our mad politicians. Dotor Oscar, can you please take all the 40 mad politicians and keep them in mental hospital. I' ll be the first one to salute you. God bless the dogs and curse on our mad politicians.

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