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Vacuum your pooches daily to avoid diseases

To reduce the chances of reverse sneezes, minimize potential irritants from the home and groom your dog often.

My residential society has banned stray dogs. What action can I take, if any?
Beating and driving away street dogs by the RWA is not allowed, according to the circular of the Animal Welfare Board of India, dated 26 February 2015. The High Court has also ruled that dogs have to stay in their place of residence and they are to be fed in a specific place by the residents who are also enjoined to keep the place clean. Normally the head of the RWA or a vicious resident will give some money to the security guards and ask them to beat and drive away the animals. Talk to the security and tell them you will be filing criminal complaints against them. Also ring up the head of the security agency and tell him the law and ask him to change the guards or make them behave.
You can file a criminal complaint in your local magistrate's court. If inhumane methods are used to impose the ban (For example: kicking, beating by sticks, etc.) you can also register a police complaint under Section 11 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act of 1960. Do not forget to gather photographic evidence to make your case strong. In order to register an FIR, you need to visit your local police station. The FIR is basically a written document that is prepared by the police, which has the details about your complaint (For example: locality, time, name of the complainant, alleged activity, etc.) Note, that there are no charges for filing an FIR. After that, the police conduct investigation, which may include arrests.
On your part, make sure the dogs are sterilized and are socialised so that no resident feels threatened. If necessary put collars on them so that they are recognised as resident dogs.
My old dog seems to be perpetually hungry but she doesn't seem to eat much from the two meals we give her.
Old dogs need to be fed many times a day in very small quantities. Give her softer food which is easier to chew and swallow.
Sometimes my dog sounds as if he is choking. He has a fit of reverse sneezing when he pulls his nose in repeatedly and makes an odd sound.
Technically known as "paroxysmal respiration", reverse sneezing can be caused by an irritant in the air, by eating or drinking too fast, by a foreign body or hair balls, or even a nasal infection. The resulting irritation of the palate or throat causes a spasm, resulting in quick inhalations of air into the dog's nose. The trachea can narrow, causing difficulty in air movement. The condition is more common in older dogs. To reduce the chances of reverse sneezes, minimize chemicals, cleaners, rug deodorizers or other potential irritants from the home. Groom your dog often, and vacuum up hair every day. During a reverse sneeze, try rubbing your dog's throat to ease the spasm. Very briefly cover his nose to encourage swallowing, which can dislodge a foreign body. Look into his mouth if need be, to see if anything is obstructing his throat. If so, remove it.
My 3 weeks old puppy has small pus-filled bumps on his abdomen and groin. What could be the reason?
Pus filled bumps are a sign of bacterial infections. The most common bacterial infection in pups is Impetigo. Impetigo pustules are very easy to rupture. They appear on the stomach and are filled with liquid. After bursting, they ooze and crust over, and cause discomfort and pain. At this stage, the impetigo is also very contagious, so any puppy or dog with it should be kept away from others until it clears up. Most impetigo clears up on its own, or dissipates with treatment. A medicated shampoo can be used. Get one with benzoyl peroxide and bathe your puppy with it two times a week for 2 to 3 weeks. If the impetigo is not a mild enough case to clear up with only the use of topical treatments, you may need to obtain a round of oral antibiotics or topical antibiotic.
It could also be a sign of distemper. Canine distemper is a virus that affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal, respiratory and central nervous systems, as well as the conjunctival membranes of the eye. The first signs of canine distemper include abdominal pustules, sneezing, coughing and thick mucus coming from the eyes and nose. Fever, lethargy, sudden vomiting and diarrhea, depression and/or loss of appetite are also symptoms of the virus. There is no cure for canine distemper. Treatment for the disease, therefore, is heavily focused on alleviating the symptoms. If the animal has become anorexic or has diarrhea, intravenous supportive fluids may be given. Discharge from the eyes and nose must be cleaned away regularly. Antibiotics may be prescribed to control the symptoms caused by a secondary bacterial infection, and phenobarbitals and potassium bromide may be needed to control convulsions and seizures. There are no antiviral drugs that are effective in treating the disease.
(Views expressed and information provided are personal; Send your questions to manekaanimallove@gmail.com)

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