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Health checks for pets save you hospital visits

Mobile clinic highlights difference proper veterinary care can make

Gulf News

Dubai: Not getting routine veterinary care for your pets may not only endanger them but may also pose health risks to your family, especially your children, a senior veterinarian told Gulf News.

“Routine veterinary care is very important, especially vaccination and health inspection. Routine deworming should also be done as the worms your pets have can be transferred to your family as well,” Dr Chenjerai Sigauke, veterinary manager at Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Centre, told Gulf News.

To help pet owners who can’t bring their pets to the clinic, the centre organised a mobile clinic in Mareed, Ras Al Khaimah, on Friday, the second such event in a series to be held until March 2013.

The organisers set up tents in Mareed where pet owners could bring their animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and other animals can all be screened for health issues at the mobile clinics.

“Our purpose is to reach out to pet owners who otherwise can’t bring their pets or who think that routine veterinary care is not important. We want to change this perception,” Dr Sigauke said. Hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms can be present in pets and call for deworming to be done at least every three months, he added.

Hookworms and roundworms can be transmitted to people through skin contact or ingestion. They may cause skin problems and diarrhoea. Roundworms pose a bigger health risk as they can migrate through the eyes, brain and liver and cause significant damage especially among children.

“In the stray dog population that we encounter here, we regularly see dogs with parvo[virus]. So if your pet steps onto excrement that’s contaminated, he might catch the virus himself,” said Ellen Quanjer, centre manager. “Vaccination will prevent this; your dog does not need to get sick.”

The services at the mobile clinic are free but pet owners will have to contribute a nominal amount to cover the cost of medicines that will be used.

More mobile clinics are scheduled for the first Friday of each month until March 2013. For more information, visit www.rakawc.com.

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