Millennium Post

FAITH IN HUMANITY

By reducing the suffering of animals in human hands, we can alleviate our actions and save our own conscience

FAITH IN HUMANITY

A man down the road has several donkeys that he uses for carrying bricks. One donkey limps and also has some pus in his hooves. He won't let me take them to a vet. What should I do?

See if you can bring a vet to the donkeys. Abscesses in the hoof are a common cause of lameness in donkeys, they are most often caused by small stones or other matter penetrating the weakest part of the foot, the junction between the wall and the sole (the "white line"). Bacteria and other microorganisms are also introduced. The white blood cells trying to eliminate this infection accumulate as a build-up of "pus" between the hoof wall and the internal sensitive tissue. The pain is often intense and gets worse unless the pressure from the build-up of pus is released. Such donkeys will often prefer to lie down and walk only slowly trying to bear the least possible weight on the affected foot. Treatment of foot abscesses includes:

Foot dressings should be kept clean and changed regularly, probably daily. (Waterproof adhesive tape and "silage bag patches" are useful outer coverings to protect from wet and dirty underfoot conditions.)

Be warned. Some very lame donkeys will seem to improve if infection breaks out at the coronary band (the top of the hoof). Prompt veterinary attention is still needed.

Regular tetanus vaccination relieves the worry of this potential complication. Wet muddy fields, small sharp stones on tracks and stable floors and bouts of laminitis all increase the risk of foot abscesses.

During summers, what steps can I take to help street animals with food and water?

During summers, you can install a tub of water (concrete or plastic) outside your house and keep refilling it. You should give food to animals in your colony at a fixed time. In a few days, they will all appear at that time and then disperse.

Why does my dog shed hair?

Shedding a small amount is normal for every mammal including you. But any more means that the dog is not well and you need to have a blood and urine test. Dogs with untreated allergies often leave more hair and dander on furniture. Daily brushing and a good diet and proper grooming will significantly reduce your pet's shedding and help prevent flaking skin and hair loss related to improper nutrition. Never bathe a dog more than once a month (less often for some breeds) or it will become dry and shed/dander more.

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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