Young Supporters Extraordinaire!

At the end of last year three animal loving schoolchildren chose to support the TNR Trust by donating the proceeds of the home-made cards during the Zen Kids Business Fair held at Zen Gardens (Read their Business Plan)

Keiya (10), and Sitara (8) Sumaria and Ayana (11) Karena – enlisted the help of some friends and sold cards in aid of the TNR, whilst chanting ‘We love Dogs!’ around the grounds.

Their hard work and persistence not only helped raise the profile of the charity at the fair – they also raised a whopping 47,000 KES in the process!

zen girls on site
Keiya, Sitara and Ayana in action during the Fair

We’d like to say a huge thank you to the girls and the boys “pushing” the sales!

The money will all go towards funding our new Mobile Clinic and our dog and cat vaccination and sterilisation programme.

Hear more from the girls themselves!

And here to hear from the supporting boys!

 

zen garden kids team
The Team by TNR Mobile Clinic
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Five reasons why

Five reasons why Kenya needs a good dog and cat control programme:

  • How good would it be if Kenya was a rabies free zone? You can help by getting your pet vaccinated against the disease.
  • It’s sad to see stray, unwanted dogs and cats in poor health. By sterilising your pet – you’re making sure you don’t add to the number of unloved animals roaming Kenya’s streets.
  • Stray animals don’t mix with Kenya’s unique wildlife or vital livestock. Sterilising your pet will reduce the number of dogs and cats becoming a nuisance.
  • By adopting stray animals that can be rehomed, you’re preventing them being put to sleep unnecessarily.
  • A low cost or free animal vaccination and sterilisation programme helps protect everyone in the community and goes a step closer towards ensuring that people and pets in Kenya are safe and healthy.

WORLD RABIES DAY: Educating the future of this country

TNR Trust Karura Education Children Event

Going with the theme for this year’s World Rabies Day that is “Share the Message, Save a Life.” on 21st September, 2018, TNR Trust in collaboration with Friends of Karura held a half day Kids Event at Karura Forest. The intention of the event was to sensitize school children of the age of 6 years to 14 years old children on the subject rabies. It should be noted 2,000 Kenyans die every year because of rabies

For the event to be more relevant and factual, we invited Fifth Year Veterinary students from the University of Nairobi who took through the children on that particular subject. And a lot of questions came out for the speaker to answer during Q&A time.

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It will be important to note some of the interesting questions the students had concerning rabies. The questions included:

  1. Can an infected dog that is pregnant, give birth to puppies that are infected with rabies?
  2. Where did this disease come from?
  3. If a dog has rabies, can it be treated and get healed?
  4. If a dog has rabies, can I kill?
  5. What causes rabies?
  6. How do we vaccinate dogs?
  7. If cats are also infected with

These and many other questions were asked by the students during the talk and our able tutor of the day Rashid Ocholla did a great job in using very simple language to make the students understand what is rabies, symptoms if bitten and how to prevent rabies infection and spread.

Being a children event, we had stuffed toys of dogs, stethoscopes and Dr’s coat, empty syringes and a digital weighing scale, where they imitated being Vet Doctors, with the help of the vet students, they were shown how to vaccinate a dog and where exactly. It was real fun for the students.

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With the sponsorship from Swedish Society, we had prepared colouring booklets with drawings showing how to take care and treat our dogs and crayons for the students, which we gave them to colour and take home.

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Being an education event, Swahili Rabies posters were given to all the students and their teachers to take home to their parents and neighbours. The teachers and the students were very happy for learning much about rabies and how it can be prevented.

Rabies: What is it?

In light of World Rabies Day on 28 September, we will dedicate this week’s post to Rabies: The facts, the figures, how to prevent it and our goals.

WHAT IS RABIES

Rabies is a viral disease that is nearly always fatal. Infected dogs cause more than 99% of rabies cases in humans.

In Kenya approximately 2,000 humans die from the disease annually, 40% of these are children under 15. In rural populations, this figure is 95% for children under 15. Additionally, a significant number of livestock, pets and wildlife die from rabies every year.

This little girl used to be scared of dogs. Thanks to her brother and her furry friend, she became best friends with a dog!
TNR Trust doing vaccinations in Kiambu County: This little girl used to be scared of dogs. Thanks to her brother and her furry friend, she became best friends with a dog!

Rabies is a disease that is 100% preventable through vaccination. The Kenyan Ministry of
Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries together with the World Health Organization, have started a program to eliminate the disease through:
▪ Mass dog vaccinations
▪ Educating the public

RABIES IN PEOPLE

Rabies mainly affects people in poor rural communities. People get the disease from the saliva of an animal that is infected. For example, if an infected dog bites or licks a human, that person can get rabies if the skin is broken and the saliva of the dog enters the person’s body. If the skin is not broken, the person is less likely to get sick.

Main symptoms of Rabies in Humans:
▪ Pain at the bite site
▪ A general feeling of illness
▪ Fever
▪ Headache
▪ Poor appetite, nausea, vomiting
▪ Muscle aches
▪ Sore throat
▪ Depression

TNR Trust Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Kiambu County
TNR Trust Rabies Vaccination Campaign in Kiambu County

RABIES IN DOGS

Dogs get rabies from the bite of any animal that has rabies. Infected dogs often display clear behaviour changes: friendly animals may become shy or irritable, whereas, aggressive animals may become affectionate and docile. However if you do not know a dog it might be difficult to tell whether he is showing signs of rabies.

Main symptoms of Rabies in Dogs:
▪ Constant licking of bite site
▪ Jaw is dropped
▪ Inability to swallow, hydrophobia (extreme or irrational fear of water)
▪ Change in tone of bark
▪ Disorientation
▪ Seizures, paralysis
▪ Excessive foam at the mouth

Rabies-dog-810x539.jpg

 

 

How can a dog become an effective Guard Dog?

Let’s be realistic and not expect our dogs to shield us from armed thieves. The primary use of a guard dog is to bark when strangers are around and alert you so you can take action.

What NOT to do

Guard Dog in Rural Kenya
Guard Dog in Rural Kenya

First of all, it is ILLEGAL to keep a dog permanently chained or confined in a box.

A dog’s natural behaviour is to have periods of activity and rest throughout the day and night, just like humans do. A dog will sleep a certain amount of time and will then want to run and play, investigate the perimeters of his territory and mark his boundaries. If there are strangers, he sounds a warning by barking. He will also react to intruders who cross his marked boundaries, even if he is resting!

Just like people, dogs are mammals that feel a range of emotions, such as happiness, sadness, pain, fear and anger. They suffer when mistreated, sick or imprisoned.


What to do

To have an effective guard dog, his natural instincts must be respected and nurtured. Here’s how:

  1. Make Friends
    Get to know your guard dog, play with him and feed him, so that he will form a bond with you and recognize he is a member of your pack.
  2. Allow him to roam the Compound
    He will be able to mark his territory and get some exercise that will avoid boredom, depression and unpredictable behavior.
  3. Give him Company
    If you can afford it, keep more than one dog. He will have company when you are not around, which is important for a dog, as they are pack animals.
  4. Satisfy his Essential Needs
    Make sure he has all the basics he needs to be happy and healthy: sufficient food,fresh water and a proper sized shelter that keeps out the rain and the cold and allows for a toilet area away from his bed; just like humans, dogs hate soiling their sleeping area so keep his shelter clean at all times.

lucy

Have you found this useful? Do you know someone who can benefit from this information?

Please feel free to give them our free flyer – click  on GUARD DOGS: MYTH VS TRUTH

 

GUARD DOGS: Would you defend your keeper who confines you in a box without a toilet for 12 hours a day?

Let’s be realistic and not expect our dogs to shield us from armed thieves. The primary use of a guard dog is to bark when strangers are around and alert you so you can take action.

Guard Dog in Rural Kenya
Guard Dog in Rural Kenya

First of all, it is ILLEGAL to keep a dog permanently chained or confined in a box.

A dog’s natural behaviour is to have periods of activity and rest throughout the day and night, just like humans do. A dog will sleep a certain amount of time and will then want to run and play, investigate the perimeters of his territory and mark his boundaries. If there are strangers, he sounds a warning by barking. He will also react to intruders who cross his marked boundaries, even if he is resting!

Just like people, dogs are mammals that feel a range of emotions, such as happiness, sadness, pain, fear and anger. They suffer when mistreated, sick or imprisoned.


RESULTS OF CONFINING A DOG

Confining your dog in a box or small shelter without a toilet for 12 hours every day can often result in untold suffering of the dog and angry owners as the dog is seen as unwilling to ‘perform his job’. Often the results are:

1. Frustrated and unpredictable behaviour

  • A dog that is unable to mark territory will be scared and insecure.
  • A dog which has ‘rested’ all day will be hyperactive and unpredictable.

2. Depression and unhappiness because the dog:

  • Is lying in his own dirt.
  • Doesn’t know his pack (family) and is therefore unable to bond.
  • Lacks interaction and affection. He is lonely and bored.

3. Curtailed instincts and a lack of (or bad) training can result in a dangerous dog and can lead to:

  • Death or injury of a person or other animal
  • Death of the dog (euthanasia)
  • Getting a new dog and restarting the same cycle

lucy

Have you found this useful? Do you know someone who can benefit from this information?

Please feel free to give them our free flyer – click  on GUARD DOGS: MYTH VS TRUTH

 

Tick Guide for Dogs (Part 2): tick-borne diseases

We have SO many tick-borne disease in Kenya and they can be fast and deadly: dead dogs in 24 hours, or the dog being just lethargic and not eating well for a couple of weeks before the owners are able to pick up what is causing this.

What is a tick?

The tick, a type of insect parasite, attaches itself to animal skin, feasting on the host’s blood. Infected ticks, however, can spread diseases to their host. A vet can diagnose a tick-borne disease in a dog based on blood analysis.

Through their saliva, ticks can carry bacteria and viruses which can also cause human diseases. When a tick takes a blood meal (after biting an animal) it attaches to one’s skin using a mouthpiece called a hypostoma. Once attached, there are alternating periods of sucking blood and salivation, with regurgitation occurring frequently. The periods of salivation allow the virus or bacteria to enter the body and infect the host.

Thousands of canine tick-borne diseases are diagnosed annually. Many more go undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Though many tick-borne diseases exist, some are considered more common than others.

Where do ticks live?

Ticks can be picked up in vegetative areas like forests and meadows. The inquisitive nature and low-lying stature of dogs compared to humans also makes them more susceptible to infestations and thus, potential infection. However, if dogs are bringing infected ticks home with them, the ticks can crawl off the canine and onto the owner, biting and infecting the human. Direct disease transmission between dogs and humans has not been found.

What are the most common canine tick-borne diseases?

1. Lyme Disease

Symptoms range from joint pain, lethargy, and lameness to decreased appetite and fever. Signs of infection can take months to appear. It is also worth noting that dogs do not get the tell-tale bulls-eye rash common in humans at the bite site of a tick carrying Lyme disease.

2. Ehrlichiosis

This tick-borne disease exists globally and is one of the most common. It is caused by the bite of an infected brown dog tick. Signs of the illness include fever, decreased appetite and weight loss, depression, runny nose or watery eyes, respiratory distress, frequent bloody noses, and enlarged lymph nodes or limbs. Symptoms can also be delayed from infection.

3. Babesiosis

Anemia is the most common sign of infection but also look for dark urine, fever, swollen lymph nodes and weakness. Babesiosis is found all around the globe.

How can you protect your dogs from ticks? 

By brushing dogs outside your property (like before you get back in the car at the forest or after hiking), you can dislodge ticks that have been picked up, but not yet attached to the dog. Brush your dog’s face, neck and legs. These are the main areas where ticks crawl to to find a place to attach.

Also talk to your vet about a tick/flea prophylactic treatment appropriate for your dog. We have a new range of treatments from spot-on topical oil types to collars, and chewable tablets to choose from, but look to your vet for guidance as not all may be appropriate for your dog. 

If you have cows in your neighborhood or passing through, be especially observant and vigilant as the cows harbor ticks that will drop off and you will soon find them on your dog!

REFERENCES