The stray dog menace is not limited to the city’s outskirts. Within the city, close to 300 cases of dog bites are reported everyday, shows data from government and private hospitals.

According to data from Balrampur Hospital on antirabies vaccination (ARV) against animal bites, there has been a 25% increase in such cases from 2016 to 2018.

Of all cases of animal bites in a year, 99% are from dogs.

In 2016 at Balrampur Hospital, 16,173 ARV were administered. In 2017, the number was 21,236.

This year, from January to mid-May, close to 9,000 ARV cases have been taken up at Balrampur Hospital.

On a given day, the hospital deals with 300 cases of dog bite daily. Of these, 150 are fresh cases and the remaining are follow-ups, said Balrampur Hospital director Dr Rajeev Lochan.

At Civil Hospital, 50 ARV cases come in everyday on an average. Another 50 are follow-up cases, said medical superintendent Dr Ashutosh Dubey.

At various private medical facilities where ARV is available, another 100 cases of dog bite are reported on an average daily.

This brings the figure to 300 fresh cases of dog bites in the city everyday.

The incidents are reported from various residential areas. Children are mostly targets of stray animals.

More Essential Know –

About antirabies vaccination (ARV)

ARV constitutes four injection shots. The first is given on the day of the attack, followed by three others on the seventh, 14th and 21st days.

“A fifth shot is given on the 28th day from the attack if the dog has died,” said Nisha Tiwari, chief pharmacist at the ARV cell at Balrampur Hospital.

Tips for Keeping Yourself Safe

1. Carry a small spray bottle or plastic water bottle with you

Using water is safe and unharmful. It doesn’t hurt. This is one quick way of repelling dogs that you might be afraid of or that may seem unusually aggressive.

2. Shout firm commands to dogs that approach you

What words were effective in this situation?

  • Off
  • Down
  • Come
  • No
  • Stop
  • Back

It took several tries, but the dogs did eventually listen. These may not work in all cases, especially for stray dogs.

3. Carry a walking stick or cane

People alone without any defense are most vulnerable to a dog attack, especially elderly victims. Carry a walking stick or cane with you when you go on walks.

4. Wear a whistle around your neck

Many dogs retreat at the sound of loud noises. At the dog park here in town, many dog owners and trainers wear whistles around their necks in the event a fight breaks out. It has been a proven technique for stopping dogs before they get out of control.

5. Carry treats with you on your walk in the anticipation you will see a dog

There’s something to be said about milk bones. The smell of a treat makes them forget why they were charging on you.

6. If the dogs attacks and you have no option left then before the dog jumps on you, give it right back

When dogs attack, they can strike any part of your body. Most commonly, they will go after one of two places. Bigger dogs will most likely strike for your face and neck. Smaller dogs will go after ankles and toes. Some dogs go after fingers.

Learn to protect yourself against a charging dog.

A person that is walking down the street or jogging may not have much time to assess the situation at hand before a dog strikes. Here are some strategies for protecting your body as much as possible.

  • Quickly judge the weight and height of the dog. If it’s a mini dog, chances are the dog will be toward the back of the legs or feet. If it’s a large dog, you have to react quickly in order to protect yourself.
  • If the dog leaps or jumps up at you, go in to action. Lift your knee as high as you can in front of you to keep the dog from reaching your face. Then cross your arms and cover your face. This will build strength in your arms so it won’t be as easy for the dog to grab one arm.
  • If possibly, tuck yourself head under criss cross arms and roll into a ball.Lay still. Fighting back will cause worse bites.
  • If you feel comfortable with the dog’s size and think you can take it on, it’s ok to fight back. It’s just when a dog is much larger and you don’t have much of a chance, if you start fighting it, the wounds will be worse than if you stop moving.
  • Dogs are prey driven. They fight until the prey stops moving. Think of yourself as a rabbit. It’s no longer a challenge for a dog when the prey stops moving.
  • No look, no touch, no talk. Don’t look a dog in the eyes. Don’t touch the dog or reach out your hand to pet him. Don’t talk to the dog except if you are shouting firm commands at it. The attack isn’t personal.
  • If you have any loose article of clothing around your body such as a scarf or fabric belt tied at the waste, try to remove it from your clothing. People have been strangled by dogs that play tug-of-war with loose articles of clothing around a person’s neck.
  • Don’t try to run away. Dogs will see this as a challenging prey drive and chase you until you are down.
  • Don’t be fooled by a wagging tail. This may not mean the dog is happy to see you.
  • Don’t think a dog is yawning because they are tired. This could be a sign of stress and impending danger.

Practice being in this situation before venturing out so that you will be comfortable using these techniques if you ever find yourself in this situation.

In these days when dog attacks are so aggressively talked about in the news, we can’t ignore the fact that we can’t sit back and wait for the next attack to have something to talk about. We need to be pro-active and know how to react if it does happen.

Be Safe,

Be the change,

God bless you…

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