Sat, Jul 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Pet dog bites owner in Taitung as rabies fears mount

Staff writer, with CNA

A usually docile pet dog bit its owner in Taitung County on Thursday, a few days after hunting a masked palm civet, adding to fears about a possible spread of rabies as more wild animal carcasses were found across the nation.

The dog, which was kept in the mountainous Beinan Township (卑南), attacked its 67-year-old owner while she was working on the farm.

The owner sustained injuries on her right arm and both legs, with the bite on the arm affecting her nerves, the local hospital said.

She was given rabies shots immediately and remained in hospital, while the dog was put down and its body sent for testing.

The dog apparently showed aggression in a way that was similar to the kind seen in rabid animals, Taitung’s quarantine control office said after examining the dog.

The attack took place in a township next to a district in which a man was bitten by a rabid Formosan ferret-badger on July 22.

The cases came after recent confirmation that rabies has reappeared for the first time in the nation after more than 50 years, with many pet owners beginning to worry whether their pets might get infected through contact with wild animals.

There has also been an increase in reports of wild animal deaths, although experts say it may have to do with the heightened alert among the public.

One of the more alarming reports involved a dead Formosan ferret-badger found on Thursday in a rural part of New Taipei City (新北市), a short distance away from populous residential areas.

The carcass was being tested for the rabies virus as of Thursday evening.

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