07 September 2010
By Kim Arora
Precaution goes a long way in ensuring that our furry friends stay healthy
From getting stuck in traffic jams on waterlogged roads to watching raindrenched Bollywood stars sing duets to being on high alert against dengue and eye flu, the monsoon means different things to different people. But as it rains cats and dogs, it also pays to be on guard against infections that could bother our furry friends.
Jangpura–based vet Anil Sood says fever, diarrhoea and dermatitis are common ailments in the rainy season. "During monsoon pets become primary hosts for ectoparasites (any parasite that lives on the outer surface of an animal) like ticks and fleas which can cause tick fever in dogs. These are curable diseases if diagnosed and treated in time. Ticks can cause paralysis. Fleas carry tapeworms and birds specially are prone to them," says Dr Sood.
Pet owners are geared up to combat infections before they strike. PR professional Aditi Dasgupta does not take her fiveyear–old Labrador Buddy out for walks when it rains. She takes Buddy for a walk only when the latter gets restless, that too on the terrace. "There’s plenty of muck outside. If her nails get dirty, it can cause an infection. I also brush her twice daily in this weather. You can never be too sure about ticks," says Dasgupta.
The post–monsoon season also causes mood swings, say pet owners. Asleen Kaur Madhok’s cocker spaniel Adam loves the rains but gets moody and irritable when the season changes. "It also gets an upset stomach easily in the changing weather. I have to brush Adam’s teeth everyday because he has foul breath this season," says Madhok, who is stocks antitick shampoo and sprays to nip any infection in the bud.
Not everyone is having a tough time. Sapna Yadav, associate programme manager at the Wildlife Trust of India, has little to worry about when it comes to pet care in this weather. She has adopted two stray cats, Nawab and Gillu, who are self–reliant and hardly a bother. "These are stray cats. They are strong, and know how to take care of themselves. They find dry spots in humid weather," says Yadav.
Another wildlife conservationist, Sharada Annamaraju, owner of two canaries, says it is important to change the paper at the bottom of the birds’ cage more frequently in the monsoon to keep the moisture out and the birds infection–free. Dr Sood believes it’s a good idea to give pets a little immunityboost in the sultry and moist weather with Vitamin B and C supplements.
- Brush your dog regularly
- Give vitamin supplements to your dog to help build immunity against infection and diseases
- Use anti–tick shampoo and sprays help keep ticks in check
- Keep bird cages moisture–free