Saturday, April 23, 2011

Which Dog Do You Feed?'s been a long silent blogging episode. Blame it on the ups and downs of life... on the erratic flow of the "river". Stagnant waters, brooding over thick silt, going nowhere...Murky pool, clouding the mind.Days when you wear a smile on the face to hide the mess in your head!
But hey...Life is all about choices...and I choose to live and let live. Enough of gloomy reflections and on to some animal talk!

Last week, I had my first case of Leptospirosis in a puppy for 2011. Animal was brought in with severe jaundice and fever.I wonder how owners do not pick up jaundice early enough to bring their animals to the vet...maybe because not all of us check the gum and external ear colour daily. So...yes in case of jaundice your animal will have yellow gums, inner side of the ear flap, sclera(white part of the eyeball)and abdomen.
What is Lepto huh? A very contagious bacterium of the Spirochaetes family that can penetrate skin and infect you and your animal.Yes...I did say "YOU" as Leptospirosis is one of the rare diseases that you can easily get from your dog! The natural reservoir for these bacteria are rodents, and in our case, rats! They are shed in the rats' urine and when ingested or upon contact with this urine, your dog (or you) might be infected. The disease develops in a similar fashion for both humans and dogs: Fever, lethargy; liver is the first organ that is affected (and hence the jaundice) and then the lepto progresses to the kidneys where they cause renal failure and this is most often ...FATAL!
If picked early enough this is easily treated with antibiotics but the best thing to do is to vaccinate your dogs regularly against this bug. Proper hand hygiene usually keeps contamination away...even if you are dealing with a sick dog at home. Another useful precaution is to remove/clean your dog's food bowl as soon as he has eaten his meal; Our habit of leaving food bowls with left overs overnight is what attracts the rats and favours contamination. Then again, a proper rat control programme is mandatory if your yard is infested.

Ah!! Those rats! I remember reading James Herbert's chilling novel "Rats" when I was a teenager and despite being a tad apocalyptic, there is a lot of truth in all of the rodent behaviour described there! What about rat poison? Or as we like to call them: "Medcine lerat" - Rat if they have a headache or something that we have to give them "medicine" for! Loool!Nearly all rat poisons are with Coumarin - a powerful anticoagulant that triggers internal bleeding in the animals. This has been carefully designed to make the animal slowly bleed to death, usually over 2-3 days. This has been well studied, because rats are so clever that if one of them dies acutely after eating something, the rest will not eat that again. Some studies even show that there is a set hierarchy in the "rat pack" whereby the dominant ones "send" lower ranking individuals to "taste" the food before they try it themselves! Call it weird, scary or simply rat common sense...but that is how it is. So rat poison is designed to kill slowly, over a couple of days. Why am I detailing all this? Because dogs do eat the rat baits and cats do eat poisoned rats too! If you attend to them early enough this is manageable too, with specific antidotes that will cancel the Coumarin effects. which dog do you feed? To end this blog on the same note as I started it;In my head, my thoughts are like 2 dogs fighting each other constantly! Call it the Ying and Yang; the Good and Bad but me I have 2 dogs!Loool!...and I have learnt, with time, the answer to the question: "So which one eventually wins the fight?"
The answer is: " The one I feed the most eventually wins" Sometimes it pays to stop feeding one of the dogs; balance the "fight" and life goes on. You can read how many books you want; get how much counseling you need but it's ONLY YOU who can decide which dog to feed less and which one to feed more...

So my blogger friends!! Which dog have you overfed lately?