Background: Canine rabies has been enzootic in the dog population of the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa since the mid-1970s and has been associated with high rates of human exposures and frequent transmissions to other domestic animal species. Several decades of control efforts, consisting primarily of mass vaccination programs, have previously failed to sufficiently curb rabies in the province. Despite this history of canine rabies, the target canine population has never been extensively studied or quantified. For efficient and effective vaccination campaign planning, the target population must be evaluated and understood. This study reports evaluated observations from survey records captured through a cross sectional observational study regarding canine populations and dog owners in rabies enzootic KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. The objective of this study was to aid government veterinary services in their current and ongoing efforts to eliminate canine rabies in the province by gaining information about the size and distribution of the owned dog population.
Results: Thirty-eight percent of the households owned one or more dogs, with rural areas surveyed containing a significantly higher number of owned dogs than urban areas. The mean dog/person ratio for this study was 1:7.7
Conclusions: The study indicates the majority of owned dogs can be handled by at least one member of the household, thus can be made readily accessible for rabies vaccination during a campaign. Characteristics of owned dogs
|Publication Title||BMC Veterinary Research|
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