Spaying/neutering is an essential part of your responsibilities as a pet owner. However before proceeding you should have a complete knowledge about the basics. Spaying as we say is removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet and is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Whereas Neutering is removing the testicles of your male dog or cat and is proven to vastly improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home. Unlike common misconception, spaying/neutering your pet is not at all harmful. Instead it has added health benefits if done at the right age.
If you are having doubts about your pet’s sterilization then read on as we give you top 10 reasons to spay or neuter your pet!
Give your female pet a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
Provide major health benefits for your male.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
Say goodbye to your female’s heat woes.
While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house! Unlike humans dog/cat females do not have adverse effect if their heat cycles are stopped.
Keep your male dog from wandering away from home or getting lost.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males not to mention getting dognapped for illegal dog fights.
Get a better behaved pet in your neutered male.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
It is an age old misconception propagated by lazy and irresponsible owners. The truth is that lack of exercise and overfeeding causes your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
Saves you from frequent and costly trips to your vet.
It is highly cost-effective as the cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered male escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch and is a totally humane way of reducing the number of animals on the streets. This step not only reduces dog menace but also cruelty on stray animals.
Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds end up in shelters and are ultimately euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. It is highly irresponsible to bring pups/kittens to life when their future is so dark and unreliable.
Abandoning unwanted litter is not a very good life lesson for your children.
Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters.
Though there is a lot of awareness about how to treat injuries like fractures or swelling as well as what to do when your dog gets diarrhea or vomits but not many people know how to handle dog burns. A common truth that every pet owner faces is that however careful you may be, sometimes accidents do happen. The majority of burn wounds in dogs occur in the home and are categorized as thermal (heat), chemical and electrical. We strongly advise you to take your dog to the vet immediately when burn accidents happen but in the meantime you should know these handy tips also:
The least dangerous and easily treatable dog burns are superficial thermal burns which can be treated by immersion of the affected skin in cold water or by applying an ice pack. Then you should remove any hair or debris from the burn wound and gently pat dry. Do not use oil-based medications on a burn wound. Prefer medical creams which will help prevent infection and does not interfere with burn wound healing. Ask your vet to suggest such medicines to use just in case. A non-stick telfa pad can then be applied followed by a light bandage to hold it in place. If the burn wound becomes infected or is not healing, veterinary care is needed.
A more serious burn is deep thermal burns which extend below the surface of the skin and require immediate veterinary care. You should place a cloth loosely over the burn area (Do not rinse with water or place any medications on the burn wound) and then head to a veterinarian immediately. Since these burn wounds are serious and very painful hence some dogs may even go into shock.
Then there are Electrical burns which are usually the result of a dog biting into an electrical cord. These burns are seen on the lips and tongue (where the dog bit the cord) but the dog’s entire body received an electrical shock. If you see your dog bite an electrical cord, do not touch the dog or try to pull the cord from its mouth as you may get shocked. First pull the plug from the outlet before doing anything else. If your dog is unconscious then check for breathing and a heartbeat or pulse. If breathing or the heart has stopped you may need to perform CPR. Whenever your dog is a victim of any electrical burn or shock, even if he seems fine, seek immediate veterinary care.
Lastly there are Chemical burns (acid or alkali compounds) which are most common as well. These may occur on the surface of the body or may be ingested. Rinsing the chemical off with water should be done as soon as possible. However, if you know the compound is an acid, you can rinse the area with baking soda dissolved in water. If the compound is alkaline, then vinegar and water may be used. If your dog ingested the compound, check the container to see if there is an antidote and seek veterinary care immediately.
One of the lesser known but widely affecting disease in dogs is Perianalfistulas (fissures). These are pus-filled, tunnel-like lesions that can form in the anal cavity and spread to the skin area around the anus in dogs. Perianal fistulas cause severe pain and can greatly reduce the quality of life for your dog. German shepherds are most affected by this disease however it is also seen in other large breeds such as Irish setter. Many of the breeds which suffer from perianal fistulas tend to have a broad sloping tail head which may actually predispose them to the formation of fistulas. Perianal fissures could be extremely painful for your dog and requires immediate treatment hence it is necessary that you understand the symptoms and take your dog immediately to the vet. Some common symptoms of this disease are:
Excruciating Pain while passing stool (sometimes the dog cries while defecating).
Mucous in the stool.
Excessive licking and biting around the tail area.
Earlier surgery was used to remove the fistula or the skin covering each tract. Recently immunosuppressive drugs have replaced surgery. Perianal fistulas have a tendency to recur; therefore the pet owners should be extra careful once your dog has been treated. It is highly advisable to get your dog to the vet as soon as you identify these symptoms.
Many a times it happens that we come across an injured or ill animal and do not know what to do. Here are few steps so as to organize you and guide you through the rescue:
1. The most important thing to understand before undertaking any kind of rescue is that all animals are scared of humans. They can neither understand you nor tell you what is wrong with them. This lack of communication results in generating mistrust. Therefore you have to be very careful in approaching the animal because there is a possibility it could harm you or itself out of fear.
2. First of all it is very important to understand the kind of injury to the animal because when you will call a helpline, the first thing that would be asked is the same.
3. Sometimes in case of dogs the animal gets aggressive if you try to reach out so it is best not to go very near but to gradually gain its trust. The same goes for birds except birds get frightened and in the course could harm themselves further more. The best way to keep birds calm is to keep them in a dark and quiet place for example a large size cardboard box with holes for breathing.
There are so many times when you get worried about the rough paw pads of your dog. Usually rough or dry paw pads in dogs are not an issue as they need to be hard because they are their socks and shoes. However sometimes dogs could have extremely dry paw pads similar to the dryness of human feet, which can lead to cracking. In these times the paw needs attention. Some reasons and remedies for cracked paws are:
During the winter months dogs exposed to snow, ice, ice melting products and frozen pavement are likely to develop dry pads. Exposure to lawn products, fertilizers and indoor floor cleaners may also contribute to dry and cracked paws. Avoid exposing your dog to lawn chemicals and salted concrete. You can use dog booties in winters also. If your dog doesn’t like them or otherwise, it is advisable to check his paws every time you come back from a walk. In case of cracked paw pads you can apply Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) Or Some Coconut Oilto keep them moist.
Low zinc levels, to the point of deficiency, can cause dryness and in turn cracking of dog paw pads. If you suspect this kind of deficiency then take him to your vet. Omega-3 is a good source for Zinc and is found in fish oils. Fish oils should only be introduced in small doses to your dog’s diet as its excess can cause diarrhea in dogs. However always consult your vet before introducing any kind of item in his diet.
Skin infections could also be the reason behind cracked paw pads. A less common cause of cracked pads is yeast infections, which must be diagnosed by a veterinarian. For skin infections, small cuts and inflammation in your dog’s paws you can apply a mixture of apple cider vinegar with 50% of water. Even if the dog licks it, it is great for their inner healing and digestion.
It is always good to consult your vet before experimenting on your pup with any major home remedies. We hope that your pooch’s paws always remain one “happy feet”. Good Luck.
Once again India has welcomed monsoon with lots of anticipation of abundant yield of crops as well as replenished water bodies. The other by product of monsoon is the dreaded floods. The latter is not welcomed like monsoons but only awaited by a nervous apprehension for the reason that every year floods play havoc in various parts of the country. One of the most furious and dreaded flood wave hits the state of Assam settled near the catchment areas of river Brahmaputra. Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary and one of the greatest rivers of Asia. It is a furious river and through its course from Tibet (its origin) to Bangladesh (where it drains in Bay of Bengal) it covers a distance of more than 1800 miles. The river along its course is the most dangerous in Assam (India) region where it is flood prone.
Unfortunately the only home to one-horned rhinoceros – Kaziranga national park is right in the eye of the storm. There has been a regular case of floods at the national park since 1988, yet till now the park authorities or the ministry of environment and forest have not got a robust disaster management plan to evacuate animals in case of flood scenario. According to the statistics in 1988 floods killed around 1,203 animals and in 1998 around 652 perished. This year the death toll at national park is 573 till now and this is when the floods have just started!! More flood waves are expected this season and we do not know how many more innocent animals will die.
It seems as if authorities are dependent on the animals’ adaptation to the flood-dependent ecology. However this approach is extremely pathetic and disgusting especially when the 11th five year plan has allotted around 80 million INR to the state government for flood control. The records have it that 30 million of these funds have been utilized so far.
Then why is it that animals are still dying??? Why nothing is done to save them??
Reports have it that most of these animals are run over by speeding trucks while crossing the highway to reach elevated grounds??? There are no officials or volunteers to stop the speeding vehicles on the highway nor there are sufficient speed breakers to check the speed limit. Moreover the disaster management department could not come up with a simple water management plan!!! This apathy of the authorities blatantly shows the misuse of flood control funds. Should it not be a priority to safeguard Kaziranga which carries rare and endangered species of Rhinos???
Events like floods and droughts as well as their annual repetition makes us wonder that a country that boasts of being a rising economic superpower cannot even manage its water problems. And it is true that unless India leverages its agriculture based sectors as well as safeguard its ecology, it is only a matter of time when it will no longer be able to sustain other sectors or for that matter its economic growth speed!!!!
One of the biggest threats to tigers in India is not the receding forest cover but the ever-increasing gangs of poachers. The latest victim of one of these gangs is a full-grown male tiger of Chandrapur (Maharashtra’s Tiger Reserves). Needless to say the gangs are brutal. This poor tiger was cut into pieces and thrown at the side of the road. Just like serial killer these gangs have their own style of killing the tiger. Where some gang uses iron claws, the other uses electrocution as the means to kill.
Despite of an alert at the reserves the poachers were successful in punching holes in the tight security ring. This brings us to the question – Why did this still happen? Is the claim made by the officials, of a tight and high alert security, is just a cover to save their face?
The fact of the matter is that there is nobody to provide for the answers. Even if an RTI is filed it will only lead to vague answers instead of solid facts. The authorities could always find a loophole. The few people who are really sensitive to the problem and trying to book the culprits are transferred due to politics prevalent in the bureaucratic league. A Tiger’s skin sells for over 10 million INR in international market and its nails, hair, bones sell for over 6 Lakhs. Even a 10% commission paid to the official could easily provide security holes.
Sometimes there are reports of tigers being accidentally killed. There would be hundreds of explanation for these accidents but we fail to understand an accident happening at the hands of the trained officials. Millions of rupees are invested in the Tiger project, yet there are inadequately trained people handling the tiger population and letting them die in accidents. Tigers are not stray dogs who could be helped by common man; they are big majestic beings who could only be handled by well-equipped trained professionals.
It is sad to see the sorry state of affairs of the tigers despite the high proportion of money and publicity being invested for them. However unless the administration does not put a stop to these gangs of poacher the brutality would continue. Tigers are an indispensable part of our ecological system. With their current population dwindling at 1,706 (till March 2011) it is important to follow the popular saying ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’.