Improving Dogs’ Health in Remote NT Communities

A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down for humans, but buttered bread works just as well when it comes to dogs.

remote NT communities

Photo: article supplied

The novel approach to delivering medicine is being spread around remote communities in the Northern Territory’s Roper Gulf region in an attempt to improve the health of all dogs living in the area.

“We lace the bread with a medication that treats dogs for worms, ticks and scabies,” said Sam Phelan, the in-house veterinarian for the Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Animal Health Program.

“And we give it on bread to make it easy. You can inject the medication as well, but then you’re catching dogs for needles and they soon learn what the rattle of the cage sounds like.

Dr Phelan said there was a common misconception that dogs in many of the region’s Indigenous communities were wild.

She said the term camp dogs, often used to describe the dogs that roam the streets, was terminology that did not accurately describe the situation.

Regardless of the naming conventions, Dr Phelan admitted dog bites and the spread of disease were concerns in communities with free-roaming animals.

But she said working with local animal management teams to deliver the medication programs had a two-pronged effect.

“By feeding them bread I get to know their owners and the dogs quite well, and problem dogs very quickly identify themselves,” she said.

This article was originally published by ABC.net.au.

Click here to read the entire article.

Published on August 2, 2017

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