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Lend a helping hand

An injured animal is frightened and in pain. Do not crowd the animal or they might attack or escape. Restraining the animal is important for administering treatment.

Q. How can I help an injured stray dog or cat before animal aid organisations arrive?

If you are an animal lover who wishes to be prepared for helping injured strays, it is best to be prepared at all times. Always keep the phone numbers of veterinarians and animal aid organizations handy. Call them for help and ask them to direct you.

An injured animal is frightened and in pain. Do not crowd the animal or they might try to attack or escape. Feral cats can be especially dangerous under such circumstances. Approach the animal slowly while speaking gently. Observe their facial expressions. If they seem submissive, pet the animal. If not, do not physically approach him/her.

Restraining the animal is important for administering treatment. In case of dogs, use leashes. In case of cats, use a human. Try to lure them using food. Muzzling a dog is important for your safety. You could check the animal's pulse by placing your fingers on their thigh. You could check for fever as well by placing your palm on their belly. This could quicken the rescue procedure for the aid providers, when they arrive.

If the wound is bleeding, apply a little pressure using a sterile gauze or a towel or a sanitary napkin. This helps in flushing out the bacteria and stopping the bleeding. Trimming the hair around the wound might help in preventing infection. Disinfect the wound using diluted hydrogen peroxide and water. Apply a thin layer of neosporin. It is best to leave the wound open if it is not very deep. But to prevent the animal from licking the medicine the wound can be closed using doctor's tape.

In case of internal bleeding, rush to the vet. The signs of internal bleeding are pale or white gums; rapid heartbeat or breathing; and bleeding from the ears, nose, mouth or rectum.

In case of a broken leg, use whatever is available- sticks, cardboard, newspaper- to support the broken leg and wrap using a bandage.

Scavon or neomeg 10 mg work really well for skin diseases. Consult your vet for dosage. If you suspect diarrhoea, remove all food supplies from the animal but keep him/her hydrated.

For your protection, it is important that you muzzle the dog (especially if he/she doesn't know you). Use rags or a tie to do so and tie a bow behind the ears.

For lifting the animal, slip one arm under their neck, and place your other arm under their stomach. Lift with both arms.

If you want the animal on their side, stand or kneel so the dog is in front of you with its head to your right. Grasp both front legs in your right hand and both rear legs in your left hand.

If you want the animal sitting, slip one arm under their neck, holding their throat in the crook of your arm. Place your other arm over their back and around its stomach. Hold them up in a sitting position by applying your body weight.

If you want them standing, slip one arm under the dog's neck, holding its throat in the crook of your arm. Place your other arm under their stomach. Press them toward your body and lift upward.

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

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