Be a Foster Parent

Help to foster young puppies/kittens for a period of time until they can be vaccinated and placed for adoption. 

Be a Foster Parent

Just complete this form if you would like us to email these details to you.

Help to foster young puppies/kittens for a period of time until they can be vaccinated and placed for adoption. If you would be willing to do this, please let us have your email address and we’ll contact you when puppies/kittens need fostering. And do join us on Facebook (see link at bottom of page) – we post fostering requirements there.


Quite often SPCA Penang receives very young puppies and kittens that are considered “high risk” animals. They are categorized as such because they have very low immunity and are too young to withstand the effects of vaccination. A shelter is not the place to house such young animals and at SPCA Penang in line with our policies, such high risk category of animals would be humanly euthanized. However with your assistance, we could save the lives of these high risk animals and give them the hope of a good life ahead. Therefore the shelter needs your assistance to “puppysit” and “kittensit”.


You are eligible to be a foster parent if you meet the following criteria:

  • You love animals but are unable to make a lifelong commitment towards their care.
  • A compassionate nature
  • You are willing to keep yourself occupied while at home
  • You are working or studying full time from the home and don’t mind helping out.
  • Do you have the cooperation of your family or roommates, flexibility, and some knowledge of animal behavior.
  • You preferably have your own transport – or are able to get transport conveniently to the vet or to the shelter if need be.
  • All pets that you currently have at home are vaccinated, spayed or neutered
  • You are prepared to cope with the emotions involved upon the return of the pet to the shelter after the foster period.
  • You can trust the shelter staff to decide what is best for the animal


A. Preparing your pets

Shelter animals can end up in shelter in rescues from unknown origins, sometimes with underlying medical issues and conditions, so it is important that you protect your family pets as much as you can. Before bringing home your first foster animal, make sure your animals are up to date with their vaccinations.

B. Preparing your home

Cats and dogs are curious creatures. Many are capable of jumping onto high surfaces or squeezing into the smallest of spaces. To protect foster animals in a new environment and to safeguard your belongings, it is necessary to animal-proof your entire house. NEVER underestimate you foster animal’s abilities. Accidents happen!

1. Pet Proofing the Kitchens/Bathrooms/Utility Rooms

  • Use childproof latches to keep little paws from prying open cabinets.
  • Keep medications, cleaners, chemicals and laundry supplies on high shelves or in childproofed cabinets.
  • Keep trashcans covered or inside a latched cabinet.
  • Check for and block any small spaces, nooks or holes inside cabinet, furniture, floors, appliances, etc. where your foster pets may hide. Also make certain that spaces behind washer/dryer units are closed off so your foster animals can’t get in there either.
  • ALWAYS keep your dryer and washer units closed!!! Make sure your foster pets haven’t jumped into the dryer or washer before you turn it on! (This does happen.)
  • Keep all foods out of reach and/or in cabinets. Even if the food isn’t harmful to the cat, the wrapper could be.
  • KEEP TOILET LIDS CLOSED to prevent drowning. Curious puppies and kittens can easily fall in and drown.

2. Pet proofing the Living/Family Rooms

  • Place dangling wires from lamps, VCRs, TVs, stereos and phones out of reach. You can place the cords through PVC pipes to prevent the pets chewing on them.
  • Keep children’s toys away.
  • Put away knick-knacks that are valuable to you or understand that the foster pets can easily knock things over. If it is important to you, don’t leave it out.
  • Block any spaces where your vacuum can’t fit but a foster pet could.
  • Remove dangerous items like strings, pins, yarn, etc.
  • Move houseplants — many of which can be poisonous — out of reach. This includes hanging plants that can be jumped onto from other nearby surfaces.
  • Put away all sewing and craft supplies — especially thread and yarn. If ingested, these items can obstruct cat or puppies’ bowels, sometimes requiring extensive surgery to reverse.
  • Secure aquariums and cages that house small animals, such as hamsters or fish, to keep them safe from curious paws.

3. Watch Out For Dangerous/Difficult situations:
Bedrooms are not ideal situations for foster animals. If scared of the new environment, animals can hide under beds and are hard to coax out.
Be sure to be watchful for:

  • Closet and bedroom doors
  • Open doors to the outside
  • Open dryer doors
  • Open cabinet doors
  • Computer wires
  • Folding chairs
  • Potted plants (they may be toxic if ingested)

Whatever room you choose to make your foster animal’s new home, make sure that it is easily cleaned. You should be able to disinfect it between foster groups. Carpet and other soft surfaces can harbor disease hosts from group to group. It is also difficult to clean up accidents on carpet, especially when they seep into the carpet pad. Bathrooms and other areas with tile, hardwood or other impermeable surfaces are ideal places to house your foster animals. 4. Preparing your garden area
If you have a fenced in backyard, check that there aren’t holes in the fence or any other escape route. Do NOT leave your foster puppy in the backyard without your supervision.


A “house” for the pet: You can use the carrier in which you took the animal home, a crate or a cardboard box — anything that will provide the pet a familiar-smelling, dark, quiet refuge. Water and food: Provide access to water at all times. Remember, young animals can drown, so make sure the bowl is very shallow. If you’re fostering a cat – litter box and non-clumping Litter: Cats will instinctively use a litter box.

Daily Routine
– Feeding

  • Kittens should be fed at least 4 times a day.
  • Pick up dirty wet food dishes.
  • Monitor appetites.

– Cleaning Schedule

  • Scoop litterbox at least 2 times daily.
  • Monitor for diarrhea.
  • Clay litter should be dumped and changed every other day

– Health Check

  • Look over your kitten everyday for any changes or potential medical problems.
  • Check body and fur.
  • Look closely at eyes, in mouth and ears.
  • Check energy levels.

– Socialization

  • Socialize kittens and do not keep them in isolation.
  • Encourage affectionate behavior.
  • Kittens should meet new people a few times weekly if possible.

– Handling & Grooming

  • Medium or long-haired kittens especially may
    benefit from daily exposure to brushing in very small amounts.
  • Gently handling paws in preparation for nail trimming.
  • Exposure to being picked up

How Do I Know if the Kittens are Sick?

Healthy kittens have a lot of energy when they are awake. They are playful and will only spend a short time in your lap. The eyes and nose should be generally free of any discharge. The stool will be firm and well-shaped. Kittens eat a lot, but the amount they drink depends on how much wet food they consume (the more wet food, the less water). Kittens may sneeze occasionally. They may also scratch a little. These are normal kitten behaviors. It is not always obvious when the kittens are sick. In nature, cats will hide any sickness so they don’t appear vulnerable.

  • Diarrhea – There are 3 types of cat stool: normal, soft, and diarrhea.
  • Worms (roundworms & tapeworms)
  • Vomiting – Vomiting is not serious unless it happens more than once.
  • Eye Discharge – It is normal for kittens to wake up with a little dark crust in their eyes. If you notice that the kittens have yellow or green discharge coming from their eyes all the time, make a medical appointment
  • Sneezing/Nasal Discharge – Occasional sneezing is quite common in small kittens. If the sneezing becomes frequent, examine the discharge coming from the sneeze. If it is clear, the infection is probably viral and medication may not be needed but it is important to monitor the kittens in case the problem gets worse. If the discharge becomes colored (e.g. green or yellow), it is time to make a medical appointment because the kitten may have a bacterial infection. Be sure to monitor the kittens’ breathing as well. If the kittens seem to be struggling to breathe or are breathing with their mouths open, call the vet for advice. Also, be sure that the kittens are still eating, as a kitten won’t eat what he or she can’t smell.
  • Lethargy – Healthy kittens are normally active when they are awake. Sick kittens may have low energy and want to just sit in your lap. Each kitten is different, depending on their socialization level, but if you notice a drop in the kitten’s individual energy level, it is best to make a medical appointment If a kitten can’t be roused or seems weak, this is an emergency!
  • Ringworm -if you notice hair thinning or completely coming out in patches, please make a medical appointment. Fur loss is the first indicator of ringworm, which is a fungus that can be spread to humans and other household pets. The young, the elderly, and people and animals with suppressed immune systems are most susceptible. While it is not fatal, ringworm is itchy to people and very hard to get out of your home.


All foster puppies MUST be kept at home
One significant aspect of fostering underage puppies is that you are dealing with animals that have not yet developed immunity to a variety of potentially fatal canine diseases. As these foster puppies have not been vaccinated, their immunity is very low and we recommend that they not be taken out. It is imperative for puppies to stay in the home until they have been fully vaccinated – which is usually around 2-4 months of age. The most common symptoms of illness in a puppy are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and lack of appetite. These may appear in any combination. If your puppy exhibits any of these symptoms, take the puppy to the nearest vet as fast as possible.


1 Socialization
Between the ages of 3-12 weeks, puppies are forming bonds towards people dogs and other animals which will last them a lifetime. Puppies who are not exposed to and/or do not have good experiences with people, dogs or other animals during this period can end up with fear and aggression problems later on. As much as possible (and keeping the puppies’ safety in mind), get the puppies around all kinds of people – including children, big, uniformed men, etc. and make sure they have good experiences (play, petting and treats). It’s also a good idea to expose the puppies to cats to maximize their chances of growing up to like cats.

2 Sights & Sounds
Puppies are cataloguing other things in their environment besides people and animals. Make sure they see and hear common household things like vacuum cleaners, TV’s, etc. Praise and treat the puppies every time they come into contact with something new so they have positive associations with these experiences.

3. Toilet training
Put the puppies in the toilet zone as soon as they wake up, right after eating and at last once an hour to start. Reward him with enthusiastic praise EVERY TIME he urinates or defecates in the right place.

4. Handling
Handle the puppy ALL THE TIME all over his body, play with his feet, brush him, hug him and give him treats/food while you do it so he learns to love it.

5 Training
Even at this age, you can teach puppies sit, down and other things provided you use gentle lure-reward methods and keep the training sessions short and fun! Thank you for helping SPCA Penang save the lives of animals in need. You are invaluable to us, and we appreciate you opening your hearts and homes. Please feel free to contact us with any questions – the SPCA team is here to support you.

    Neoh Chin Heng’s Fostering Story

    “As a volunteer, I often contribute my part to SPCA through fostering puppies. Though I am unable to commit to having a pet, fostering is one way where I could learn and interact with the puppies. Most puppies which I foster are around 3 to 5 weeks of age. When I first volunteered to foster, I had no idea at all on what I should do as I have never owned a dog. The internet and advice from the SPCA TEAM were the only source that I had about dogs.
    Diamond was the first puppy that I have fostered. There was not much of a problem for me as the puppy was very obedient. The only problem that I had was the potty training, but Diamond was a fast learner. My parents were against the idea of having a dog in the house but they gradually accepted it as they came to understand more about dogs. A home with a dog is not the same as one without it.
    Whenever I came home, Diamond would welcome me with a warm smile and she made me felt happy especially when I had a bad day and it even gave me a positive vibe. We enjoyed each other’s company. It is always good to have a dog to spend time with, but as a fosterer I have learnt to let go when the time comes. No matter how much we love them, in the end they will have to go back to the shelter to find a forever home. When the time came for me to return Diamond, I found it very hard to part with her. I tried to control myself and cope with my emotions, no matter how unwilling I was to send her back. I took a lot of photos and videos of her before that so that I can have her in my memories, and I have since practiced this habit on every successful fostering. After my first successful foster attempt, I have then fostered more and more puppies whenever called upon by the SPCA. It was a great experience for me and my family and we will continue to support SPCA through fostering and other means. Would you be keen to join me in the fostering team?!”

    Neoh with Diamond

    Just complete this form if you would like us to email these spaying/neutering details to you or scroll down to read:

    When adopting a female pet, you must agree to perform the sterilization of your pet. This is COMPULSORY. Whenever possible, this will be done before an animal leaves the Shelter, but in cases where animals are too young, a date for the operation will be arranged at the time of adoption. A minimum deposit of RM200 will be required for the operation. This deposit of RM200 will be refunded to you through your veterinarian when your pet is due for neutering. Neutering is to prevent unwanted litters. If a female bitch is not spayed, at the end of 10 years she and her offspring could have produced a total of 4,372 dogs. This is only calculated at 6 puppies per litter, twice per year when the bitch is in season. For cats, the figure is more as cats litter three times a year. There’s nothing cruel about being sensible. And unless there are very strong reasons for wanting your cat or dog to have a litter, the kind and sensible thing to do is to have it neutered. This operation is simple, painless and safe. In the long run it’s better for everybody, including the animal. Before you decide however, you’ll want to know some more about it. This section gives the answers to the sort of questions people ask about neutering their pet.

    The reasons for having an animal neutered:

    Why should I have my pet neutered at all?

    Firstly, because it’ll make your life easier. Amorous cats and dogs can be a real handful and no-one enjoys having to confine their pet. Secondly, there are already too many unwanted kittens and puppies who have to be destroyed and the least we can do is not add to their number. Thirdly and simply, neutering is kinder to the animal itself. The necessary frustration of hormone activity in a pet often leads to mental and physical ailments. Neutering removes the source and hence the problem.

    What problems would I have if my MALE DOG wasn’t neutered?

    Male dogs cannot resist going courting when the opportunity occurs and in the process, all sorts of disasters can befall them. They get into fights with other dogs; they wander about in traffic and either hurt themselves or cause nasty accidents; and in the country they’re liable to take to sheep and cattle worrying. On the other hand, if you keep a hot-blooded dog indoors, he can turn his amorous attentions to pieces of furniture, or even people. Barking and ill-temper are symptoms of frustrations.

    What problems would I have with a FEMALE DOG that wasn’t neutered?

    A female dog comes on heat twice yearly, each time for a period three weeks. This not only makes her somewhat messy, it also means scores of visiting dogs cluster around your front door. What’s more she’s likely to escape and become pregnant no matter how much care is taken. Even if she doesn’t, a bitch can go through a phantom pregnancy, which can lead to all sorts of odd behaviour and possibly veterinary attention to correct.

    Would I have problems with an un-neutered TOM-CAT?

    Yes, because tom-cats have one of the most unpleasant habits of “spraying”. This means that they mark out their territory by urinating upon it, and the unpleasant smell can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Male cats are also some of the greatest wanderers and well-nigh impossible to keep indoors. Their constant escapades nearly always lead to cat fights and these in turn can produce infected wounds, abscesses and serious illness.

    What about the problems of a FEMALE CAT?

    As with a female dog, a female cat in season will attract a continual host of admirers, Romantic cat-calls in the middle of the night, which even the most dedicated sleeper would be hard-pushed to ignore, are a prelude to almost inevitable pregnancy. A cat can have three pregnancies a year and up to five or six in each litter.

    It obviously makes my life easier to neuter my pet, but how will the animal benefit?

    A domestic animal can really suffer from the effects of its biological urges. As explained above, the desires themselves lead the males into all sorts of aggressive behaviour (even towards people) and in both sexes frustration can actually result in illness. Since there’s no possibility of these animals returning to the wild and indulging all their impulses, by far the kindest thing is to save them from these violent feelings altogether by having them neutered.

    How about the problem of over population? Will it really help to neuter my pet?

    Of the many thousands of puppies and kittens born every year, about two thirds are unwanted. These eventually have to be destroyed. Yet if every pet owner would assume a responsible attitude towards their animals and stop them producing litters, the problem would be dramatically reduced.

    Just complete this form if you would like us to email these commitment details to you or scroll down to read:

    Please kindly go through the guideline on the adoption of animals before you consider adopting an animal from SPCA Penang. Adopting an animal or owning a pet is a great responsibility as it is a commitment one needs to have for the entire life time of the animal. Remember that to you it is only a pet. But to him or her, you are everything.


    1. Prospective owners must have at least some knowledge about animals.
    2. Pet owners to be must satisfy the Society that they will provide suitable home for the animals and look after it to the best of their ability.
    3. Owning a pet is fun and it can bring you a lot of joy. They need the love and attention that people like you can give. Think carefully before you adopt an animal and ask yourself these 3 questions:

    4. Upon adoption, an adoption agreement must be signed.
    5. The SPCA PENANG reserves the right to refuse any application for adoption.
    6. In cases of illness or injury etc., the owner must provide veterinary treatment for his/her pet.
    7. The SPCA has the right to visit the premises of the pet owner. This is to ensure that the animal is happily settled.
    8. The SPCA has the right to repossess the animal if, in the Society’s opinion that the Agreement is not reasonably adhered to.

    Please think carefully before you adopt an animal. Their life is in your hands. It is you who makes the difference. Be Kind to Animals!!

    A Guide for New Pet Owners

    Dog make good companions for people, as they are intelligent, playful and fun. However, this mutually benefiting relationship takes up time and energy a dogs can be expensive to look after and they need space. A dog is not a good pet in busy households or for owners who are out all day. Having a dog is a long tem commitment and dog owners must be prepared that their dog can live up to 10 years or more. Owning a dog is a lot of fun and it can bring a lot of joy to the owner, but prospective owners should have some knowledge about the animals that they are going to keep.


    This depends on the size of the dog, usually 12-14 years.


    All dogs should be alert and responsive. A dog’s temperament depends on its upbringing and environment; it is a product of its home life, handling, socialization and heredity. Dog can be aggressive towards strangers; therefore control must be exercised when a strange dog meets unfamiliar people. To reduce a dog’s human-aggressive trait, walks in the park and other socializing activities can be carried out.


    The dog is a pack animal and will be upset if left on its own for long periods of time. Different breeds have different temperaments and abilities, but all dogs need the company and attention of their owners. Basic training is important and puppies should be house trained and behavioural training from 8 weeks of age. Formal training should begin at three to four months.


    Lift a puppy by scooping it up gently with one hand under its chest. Lift a dog by standing sideways to it and taking its weight at the chest and hindquarters. Dogs may bite when surprised or when teased so they need to be handled gently. There are also some dogs that, as a result of bad experience, behave unnaturally or even bite in fear, or due to pain. Anyone who adopts an adult dog should first get some information on the dog’s background and peculiarities.


    Thousands of unwanted puppies are born every year and the SPCA strongly advises that dogs be neutered to stop them from reproducing. Neutering is a simple operation that can be arranged through a veterinarian. The operation is done under general anesthesia and it is a simple, safe procedure, from which the dogs recover quickly. The neutered dog also has the added benefit of lowered risk of suffering from uterine infections, mammary tumours. Female dogs that have not been neutered come into season up to twice a year and they can have up to 12 puppies in each litter. Puppies should stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.


    Puppies must be vaccinated against certain serious diseases and given regular boosters throughout their lives. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on this. Many dogs suffer from external parasites such as mites or ticks or internal parasites such as worms. Treatments for these conditions are available from your veterinarian. A good diet and exercise is also important for proper growth and maintenance of the dog at its optimum weight. Generally if you have any concerns about your dog’s health, ask your veterinarian for advice. So, if you want to own a dog, you need:

    1. Commitment – a dog’ life is likely to last 10 years or even longer.
    2. Space – you have your work, friends and other commitments but your dog only has you. Don’t tie or cage your dog the whole day. Dogs need exercise. Leash your dogs when they are out with you.
    3. Budget – provide your dogs with adequate feed and you should take them for annual visits to the veterinarian.
    4. Welfare – dogs don’t need to reproduce and unwanted litters are a nuisance to the community. You should avoid dumping dogs anywhere.
    5. Time – Care for your dog. Talk to your dogs, even though they don’t understand your words. They know your voice when you speak to them. Make sure you give them time to understand what you want from them.
    6. Be Aware – Before you scold dogs for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering them. Perhaps they are not getting the right food, or they are unwell.
    7. Companionship – No matter how busy you are, your dogs need a little of your time, company, love and attention.
    8. Consideration – Never let your dog be a nuisance to your neighbours. Never let them foul in public places.
    9. Observation – It is the law that dogs should have a collar with identification when they are in public places.
    10. Be Humane – When your dog is sick or pain, do not leave it to suffer and die from starvation or disease. Take it to the veterinarian if it is ill.

    Important Advise to Dog Owners

    Animals have as much right to live as we do. Have respect for them and give them these 5 freedoms. They should be entitled to:

    1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – enough good food and water to keep them healthy.
    2. Freedom from discomfort – comfortable cages or resting areas.
    3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease – rapid veterinary treatment if they are ill.
    4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – so they have enough space and company.
    5. Freedom from fear and distress – treatment that avoids mental suffering.

    Before getting a dog as a pet, you should ask yourself:

    1. Do I have the time?
    2. Do I have the space?
    3. Do I have the means?

    Just complete this form if you would like us to email these vaccination details to you or scroll down to read:

    Common terms used for cat & dog vaccinations at SPCA and what they mean:

    For dogs: When a puppy reaches 8 weeks-12 weeks we give Distemper, Leptospirosis & Parvovirus (6 in 1)
    At age 12weeks – 16 weeks we give Distemper, Leptospirosis & Parvovirus & Coronavirus (7 in 1)
    At age 16 weeks and above we repeat (7 in1)
    An adopter should repeat the 7 in 1 annually thereafter


    For cats: When a kitten reaches 8 weeks-12 weeks we give Feline Distemper (4 in 1)
    At age 12weeks – 16 weeks we give Feline Distemper (4 in 1)
    At age 16 weeks and above we repeat (4 in 1)
    An adopter should repeat the 4 in 1 annually thereafter


    When you adopt a pet from SPCA, you will given the list of vaccinations that have already been given to the animal plus advice on the booster shots that will be required and when.It is up to you to follow this up with your chosen veterinary clinic. For a list of clinics in Penang, check here. Puppies have natural protection against disease until they are weaned from their mother’s milk, at which point they need vaccinations. In the first 24 hours after birth, it is critical that a puppy nurse its mother in order to get the necessary colostrums or first milk. Colostrums contain the special proteins and antibodies to protect the young dog against infectious diseases to which the mother is immune. Feeding on this first milk will ensure the pups protection for as long as 14 to 16 weeks. Of course, if the mother is unhealthy, her colostrums will be effective for a much shorter period of time, or not at all. If you would like to reduce all risks of infection, begin shots for your puppy at 6 weeks old, and repeat them every 3-4 weeks until it is 16 weeks old. Until the full series of vaccinations is complete, be sure to keep your puppy isolated to reduce exposure to infection. From thereon, your pet will need revaccinations annually. Remember, these vaccinations are very important to the health and happiness of your dog in later life.

    What are the vaccinations needed?


    Dogs with this disease will have the following symptoms : fever, conjunctivitis, rhinitis (nasal discharge), and may develop pneumonia, diarrhea & vomiting and seizures (change in behaviour (eg. pacing, circling), apparent loss of balance (ataxia), muscle twitches. This is a great killer of many dogs, if not vaccinated against. There is NO ANTIVIRAL TREATMENT for Distemper virus; therefore treatment is symptomatic. Prognosis is poor and euthanasia is often recommended for patients with progressive neurological signs.


    The canine version of this disease (known as canine adenovirus type I) usually causes only mild liver or blood-vessel disease in dogs. One of the side effects is an opaque, blue eye, which involves a hardening of the cornea that may result in temporary or permanent blindness. In some rare cases, the disease is severe and may be fatal. The vaccine is an effective preventive measure.


    Adenovirus type II infection produces a cough and bronchitis. It is also one of the causes of the contagious syndrome known as kennel or infectious bronchitis. The vaccine for type I protects against type II as well. Para influenza virus and another bacterial infections caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica also contribute to kennel cough. The Bordetella bacteria normally live in the air passages of the lungs. Stress can recipitate the disease


    This disease is caused by a spirochete, a bacterial organism that affects the liver and kidneys. It is spread by the urine of infected dogs or rats. Symptoms are depression, lack of appetite, high fever, and abdominal or back pain, due to inflammation of the liver and kidneys. The vaccine is effective for 6 to 12 months.


    This is an acute, highly contagious enteritis of dogs. Dogs of any age are affected, but there is a higher incidence of clinical disease in puppies between weaning and 6 months of age. Certain breeds appear to be at higher risk and susceptible to a more severe form of the disease. These include Rottweilers, Dobermann Pinschers, and possible Pit Bull Terriers and black Labrador Retrievers. Infection occurs by the faeco-oral route (ingestion of infected faeces).During acute illness, and for about 1-2 weeks thereafter, massive amounts of parvovirus (over one billion virions per gram of faeces) are shed in faeces of infected dogs. Because the virus can survive and remain infectious for several months in the environment, environment contamination plays a major role in transmission. Symptoms of the infection are severe diarrhea(can be profuse and haemorrhagic), vomiting, fever, depression and rapidly progressive dehydration. Hypothermia, icterus (jaundice)may develop terminally. Death is usually attributable to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, endotoxic shock or overwhelming bacterial sepsis. If the disease is detected in your pet, be sure to disinfect bedding areas and food dishes with a solution of one part chlorine bleach and 30 parts water.


    Coronavirus invades and destroys cells in the intestine causing a syndrome known as CANINE CORONAVIRAL ENTERITIS. It is an acute and contagious disease that affects dogs of all ages. Dogs present with an acute onset anorexia and depression followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea varies from soft to watery and sometimes contains mucus and fresh blood. Dehydration, weight loss and death is reported.


    Rabies is a virus that is excreted in an animal’s saliva. The virus causes an encephalitis (an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) which is invariably fatal in all species. How is rabies spread? Rabies enters the bodies of both humans and animals mainly via a bite wound or possibly by contamination of an existing open cut or through contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. All mammals can be infected by the virus, however wild animals are the main carriers of the disease with dogs and cats acting as the most common vector between the wild reservoir and humans. People may get the disease by being bitten, licked or scratched (saliva is often found on claws). Recognizing the signs In humans pain appears at the site of the bite, followed by burning, tickling or numb sensations. The skin becomes sensitive to temperature changes. Drinking causes spasms of the larynx, hence the victim avoids drinking and the term hydrophobia (fear of water) is another term for the disease. The patient becomes restless and shows extreme excitability; muscle spasms; laryngeal spasms; convulsions and paralysis. Extreme salivation (foaming at the mouth) is also common. This is followed by inability to walk, eat or drink properly followed by death after 7 days. In the furious form of the disease animals become more excitable and aggressive. Animals may react excessively to even a mild stimulus such as a puff in the wind. In the furious form animals may attack humans and other animals. Treatment and survival rate Approximately 24 hours after the virus enters the body, it enters the nervous system via peripheral nerves. Once this stage has been reached it is incurable, and death eventually results. Therefore if left untreated rabies is 100 per cent fatal. However, if rabies vaccines is given within the 24 hour initial exposure period, the disease can be prevented. As soon as possible after an animal bite, scrub the wound with soap and water for 15 minutes. Report all bites to the proper authority in your area immediately. Prevention is better than cure If you work in an environment where you are at risk of contacting rabies you should have a course of rabies vaccination. The old preventive treatment requires a long series of injections, to be given into the abdomen, and are extremely painful. The only side effects being a sore arm and fatigue following the vaccine. Regular booster vaccination is required to maintain immunity. Stray animals should only be collected by people with knowledge and experience of correct animal handling techniques. Steps to be taken when your dog bites someone.

    1. Do not put your dog to sleep
    2. You will be required to remove your dog for quarantine for at least a period of 10 days for observation at the State Veterinary Department. This is to ensure that the dog is rabies free. This procedure will only be carried if a police report is made by the other party.

    What you should do when you get bitten by a dog. Make a police report and seek medical assistance.



    Feline distemper or Cat flu is caused by a number of viruses affecting the upper respiratory tract, with symptoms of sneezing, running eyes and nose, and excessive salivation. Prompt veterinary treatment can usually cure feline influenza but cats frequently become carriers. This is one reason why vaccination is essential to protect your own and other cats. An annual booster will ensure your cat stays flu-free – as well as immunizing against FeLV(Feline Leukemia Virus).


    This is a serious disease in cats caused by a virus infection. It is also a complex disease, of which leukemia(cancer of the white blood cells) and cancerous tumors are only a small part. Various others related but non-tumorous diseases are also involved. This disease is spread by direct contact with infected cats. It is usually transmitted in the saliva, but now low levels of the virus can also be found in urine and feces. Licking, biting and sneezing are common means of transmission. Food and water dishes and litter boxes are likely sources of infections, if healthy cats share them with infected cats. Once a cat has been infected with leukemia virus, there are 3 possible outcomes:

    1. About 40% develop immunity and become resistant to future infections.
    2. About 30% become ‘latent carriers’ of the disease, neither fully recovered nor seriously affected. They may be susceptible The remaining 30% of exposed cats are persistently infected and, of these, about 83% die within 3 years of the time of infection from leukemia and/or the associated diseases. Death can be sudden or lingering and painful.

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