Pet Conscious

With the cold weather being stubborn as ever,one isn't surprised to find people coughing and sneezing.

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Published: January 25, 2012 12:46:16 am

This season,pay extra attention to your pet as it is susceptible to cold,coughs and skin infections

With the cold weather being stubborn as ever,one isn’t surprised to find people coughing and sneezing. The four-legged aren’t spared either. Pet owners have been visiting vets to get their pampered pooches checked and geared up for the cold.

This winter season has particularly seen a rise in the cases of Kennel Cough,says Dr Tulpule. “Though it’s not particularly related to winter,it has really spread this season,especially where breeders have 20-25 dogs.” Caused due to a bacterial infection,the disease passes on if even one dog coughs. “The symptoms are continuous and excessive coughing,” says Dr Tulpule. Keeping a pet is a huge responsibility,he points out. One has to pay attention to its health and safety. “One can look after them even without pampering them. Make sure that you feed them once or twice a day and keep an eye out for any symptoms of illnesses,” he points out.

A lot of breeds are prone to particular illnesses. Labradors can easily get obese,Dalmatians are prone to deafness,instances of diabetes and sugar-related problems are higher in Daschunds,Hip Dysplasia is very common among German Shepherds and so on. These can spring up during any part of the dog’s life. “But winter season has some specific illnesses common to all dogs,” says Dr Sumathi Ramachandran,a practising vet for the last 35 years. She sees dogs by appointment at her clinic at Lullanagar. “I have personally got a lot of cases of skin infections this season,” she says. “Because of the weather,they suffer from dry coats and hair fall. Thus they are more prone to secondary bacterial infections and their immunity is weakened.” Nourishment of the coat should be a priority,she insists. “Massage their coats with the Ayurvedic Franch Oil,” she advises.

Like human beings,even dogs suffer from respiratory infections during winter,the most common being cold and cough. “Again a regular dose of Ayurvedic medicine – Septilin syrup – works well in keeping cold and cough at bay. It is also very essential to boost immunity by increasing the nutrition level of pets,” Dr Ramachandran says.

All these factors point to the necessity of being a responsible pet owner. One can’t merely be attracted to a cute,furry puppy and then not look into its well-being,stresses Jitesh Jotwani,a volunteer with People For Animals (PFA Pune) “Mixed breeds are known to be tougher. They are low maintenance. Even in the winter,they rarely catch cold and can easily find ways to keep warm,” he adds. It is precisely for this reason that PFA,along with students of Symbiosis Law School and Pedigree,has organised a Grand Adoption Camp of mixed breed puppies and kittens at the Symbiosis campus at Senapati Bapat Road on January 29. “These dogs/cats are not fussy about food and can happily eat chapatti,rice,milk,dal,vegetables,and meat if possible. They are tough and more resistant to illnesses,” Jotwani adds. But basic precautions like de-worming and vaccinations are important. “All the pups and kittens that up for adoption have been vaccinated and de-wormed and they are over 2.5 months old. We also offer counselling and basic training tips. All one needs is a lot of love to keep them healthy and secure,” he adds.

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