Rain Check

Bubble bath,anybody? Nah,they paw. A shower,perhaps? Woof,they wag their tails and off they go,skidding straight into the mud and slush,their tongues slurping in a stream of rain drops.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:July 11, 2009 3:10 am

Bubble bath,anybody? Nah,they paw. A shower,perhaps? Woof,they wag their tails and off they go,skidding straight into the mud and slush,their tongues slurping in a stream of rain drops. They may hate their well-drawn baths,but give them a rainy day,and your pet will merrily drown himself in pools and puddles. Let him,but once he’s out,you need to give him a much-needed rain check. “Make that before the rains begin,” advises vet Dr CB Singh. “Rains bring with it a host of skin diseases for pet dogs. These can vary from simple dermatitis,to bacterial and most prominent,the fungal,” he notes,and suggests to keep your dog off the grass. “The moisture can play havoc,and once the rains are over,these are breeding grounds for bacteria. Make sure that whenever you give your dog a bath or he gets wet in the rain,he’s quickly dried off with a towel,” tells Dr Singh.

From water woes to tick list,pets are most vulnerable to tick borne diseases in this weather. “Ticks are vectors,and they transmit the disease. The symptoms are usually high fever,and one should get their pet’s blood tested immediately,” cautions Dr Singh,as he moves on to another monsoon malady – worms. According to him,de-worming should be regular and accurate. “You just can’t get a tablet over the counter,you have to administer the dose as per the dog’s weight,age and breed,” he adds.

The weather’s changing,and with humidity and rain come mosquitoes,flies,ticks and fleas. While a pre-monsoon check-up is mandatory,precautions like avoiding tall grass,areas with dense vegetation and keeping your pet dry and clean are a must.

“Dogs tend to drink infected water,eat bugs,and run into shrubs. Avoid that,” Dr HS Growar mentions how in this season,the ones to get infected the fastest are the bigger breeds for they are more of outdoor animals. “We have to prevent the tick from getting on in the first place,and hence the most important thing is to get your dog injected before the rains,” he feels that it’s a combination of both – medication and application that’ll keep the diseases away. “Tick sprays,tick collars,tick shampoos also help,” he adds. They are effective for a month,so you need to repeat the process.

Tick infections,scabies,allergies,skin diseases marked with flakiness and hair loss are seasonal problems,and such cases increase once the monsoons end. “Because that’s when the bacteria thrives,” says Dr JC Kochar,adding how the eggs and larvae of ticks travel up the dog’s paws,and multiply on his body. “You need to catch them fast,but make sure that the dose is given according to the breed,age and skin sensitivity of your pet,” he adds.

Interestingly,some dogs suffer from storm anxiety and can get pretty distraught during the monsoon season. Their symptoms can range from mild to severe- shaking,pulling out their own hair,hiding,biting,and excessive chewing. There are anti-anxiety drugs available with vets,or have someone else there to comfort and console them through the storm. “Food is important too. It has to be rich in amino acids,omega fatty acids,and make sure the water,meat,chicken and eggs you feed are fresh,” advises Dr Kochar.

It will rain,cats and dogs,so this monsoon,make sure you’ve ‘ticked’ off your list!

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