Millennium Post

Feeding the stray is the solution to many problems

How often do snakes shed their skin?

Snakes shed their skin at varying intervals, although young snakes shed their skin approximately every few weeks, while older snakes shed less frequently, perhaps only a few times each year. The variation in the frequency at which snakes shed their skin depends on certain factors, including the snake's growth rate and whether it needs to get rid of any parasites or heal injuries. Snakes, along with other types of reptiles, need their skin to shed as they grow. The old skin often sheds from a snake in one piece, starting from its eyes and peeling back to the end of its tail. Younger snakes need to shed their skin more frequently than adults, as they grow much faster. As the new skin grows in, it appears shiny and eventually divides into two layers.

What is a treatment for dog ear mites?

There are several types ofmitesthat can live in yourdog's ear, but the most common are Otodectes cynotis -- tiny, eight-leggedparasitesthat feed on the wax and oils in a dog'sear canal. An individual mite has a three-week life cycle, and is barely detectable by the naked eye. Causing irritation and inflammation,ear mitescan infect the external and internal canal, and lead to more seriousskinor ear infections if left untreated. Infection usually produces a characteristic dark discharge; in some cases, the ear canal can become entirely obstructed by this coffee ground-like debris. Highly contagious, ear mites are most common in outdoor cats, which can infect their canine companions. They are most often passed from pet to pet in casual contact at home or outside. Humans are generally immune to ear mites. General symptoms of ear mites are:

i. Excessive scratching and rubbing of ears
ii. Head shaking
iii. Black or brown waxy secretion
iv. Strong odor
v. Inflammation
vi. Obstruction of ear canal with coffee ground-like discharge

It is important to bring your dog to a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis. Your veterinarian will take a sample ofear dischargeand evaluate it microscopically to confirm the presence of ear mites. Avoid self-diagnosis, since certain types of bacterial infections can mimic the symptoms of ear mites.

i. Ear mites can be treated with products your veterinarian will prescribe that are applied directly in the ear or parasite medications that are applied right to the skin.

ii. If the ears are infected or have a build-up of debris, gentle cleaning may be required with cotton and a canine ear cleaner. (This may require sedation, depending on the dog's temperament and the severity of build-up.)Your veterinarian may also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or an antibiotic to resolve infections.

iii. A dog will start to feel relief soon after treatment begins, but please complete the full course of treatment, and remember that all animals in the household need to be treated to ensure full eradication.

What does the law say about feeding the strays?

Feeding street dogs is the solution to many 'problems'. It reduces suspicion, it augments trust, you earn their love and loyalty. And most importantly, it becomes easier to catch the dogs for the purpose of animal birth control and medication. It is for this reason that the Delhi High Court has specifically held, that street dogs have to be fed, and dogs feeding sites identified in all localities. The Court has also given a direction to the Delhi police to protect animal feeders. You may also get yourself registered as a Colony Animal Caretaker from Animal Welfare Board of India, by giving your details and mailing your credentials along with the form. It is free. If you feed strays in your locality, the AWBI and the courts have some guidelines for you too. Make sure you follow them to the greatest extent possible keeping in mind the benefit of the animals as well as people.

Is the dog breed Dalmatian, born with black spots?

Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, and the spots appear as they age. The exception is puppies born with patches, solid masses of dense, brilliant black or liver-colored hair with no white hair.

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