DOLITTLE, New Zealand — The New Zealand vet who treated a Tasmanian Wolf after being bitten by a domestic dog said he has found a way to treat a far more dangerous and distressing condition called rabies.
Dr. Andrew Dolsittle said he is now working on a plan to keep a domestic cat from biting another cat while he treats the sick animal.
Dolsittle is currently treating the cat with the rabies vaccine that was developed in Australia.
The vaccine is being tested in New Zealand by a veterinarian who has been bitten by the animal and is not yet able to return home.
The pet dog’s owner, who cannot be identified, is currently in a hospital.
Dr Dolsitte said he would not be doing any tests until the cat was stable, but that he would be monitoring the cat closely to make sure it was not returning to the wild.
“It’s an amazing thing, I can’t believe how quickly we have moved on from it,” he said.
“I can’t imagine the pain and suffering it must have caused.”
New Zealand has a rabies problem.
There were more than 1,300 reported cases last year.
The disease is spreading at a rate of about 1,000 cases a day.
In recent years, the disease has killed more than 300 people in New York, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles.
The number of confirmed cases has dropped to fewer than 100.
DrDolsitte has been working for the state health authority since 2013 and had been treating animals for rabies, including cats, dogs, goats and birds.
He said he had seen cases increase with his efforts.
“The more people who came in, the more people that came in and the more the numbers increased, so the number of cases has gone up to more than 2,000 a day,” he told The Associated Press.
The government recently announced it would spend $1 million to develop a vaccine, which will be tested in the New Zealand environment.
Dulsittle said a test was planned for next month in Auckland.