First Aid:Many times we see stray dogs in distress but do not know what to do to help them out. Inexperience of handling strays and the fear of attack may restrain you from treating them. Injured animals need to be handled with caution, so as to avoid any unpleasant situations like bite or attacks. Here are a few first aid tips for only temporary measures, for permanent cure you must call the nearest vet as soon as possible.
Burns:Burn injuries are very common in stray dogs and can occur from contact with direct heat, with chemical agents or from chewing electrical wires. In case of burn with heat, cool the burned area by applying cold water or ice pack for 20-30 minutes and then apply an anti-bacterial ointment. Do not apply greasy remedies like butter, oil etc as they will trap the heat and delay healing. In case of burn with chemicals, flush the skin with a lot of cool water. If the burn substance contained alkali, follow with a rinse of equal parts vinegar and water. If acid caused a burn, follow with a baking soda rinse. In case of a burn with electrical wires, disconnect the wire from the power source. Keep the dog warm and call the vet immediately.
Poisoning:Sudden violent vomiting and/or diarrhoea, fits, foaming at the mouth, staggering gait, collapse are the signs of poisoning. These may also relate to other conditions not caused by poisoning. Give 2-3 teaspoons of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide every ten minutes repeated 3 times. Or place 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt at the back of the tongue, or dissolve one tablespoon in one cup of warm water. Try to delay absorption by giving milk, whipped egg whites, vegetable oil or water. Do not try to make the animal vomit.
Bleeding:Deep wounds may cause profuse bleeding. Apply turmeric powder or tincture iodine. Place a clean cloth or gauze bandage over the wound and apply manual pressure until the bleeding stops. Get veterinary help immediately.
Shock:Shock can occur due to an accident, acute infection, haemorrhage, heart disease, heatstroke, diabetes, poisoning or an epileptic fit. The symptoms are low body temperature, pale gums, breathing difficulty and the body may become stiff. Place the dog in a warm, quiet place and cover him with a blanket. Rub the paws and ears to improve the circulation. If there is bleeding, take steps to stop it.
Injury (spine, hip):He needs medical care immediately, so without shaking his head, back and pelvis, call animal helpline no. for the ambulance and shift him to the hospital. Avoid bending the spine. Use a flat board or blanket stretched tightly as a stretcher.
Unforgiving summer heat is as fretning for strays as it is for humans. Heat strokes and heat exhaustion are a couple of alarming situations for any dog which result in Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, rapid panting, reddening skin inside the ears.
By following these simple remedies strays can be protected from the heat stroke
1. Keep plenty of water around
It is easy for animals to get dehydrated when it is too hot, so always keep water out for them. It is best to use terracotta bowls for drinking water as they remain cooler than others. Make sure you regularly clean and change the water to avoid waterborne infections and always avoid adding extremely chilled water too.
2. Feed them right
It is very important to provide strays with the right nutrition to beat the heat. Help provide them with foods that will maintain the water balance. Introduce them with fruity treats like watermelon, cucumber, muskmelon as they are not heavy for strays and will help them in maintaining their water balance and body temperature. Feeding fruits will provide strays with the minerals and vitamins they may need to make it through with the summers.
3. Shade and Shelter for strays
Strays instinctively look for shades and cool places to ride out the summer heat. Build simple shelters with discarded cardboards, old clothes to ensure safe and refreshing space for strays.
4. Check under your vehicles before turning on the engine
Be careful before you start your vehicle as strays take temporary shelter under your car or in the space between the frame and the wheels.
1. Make temporary shelters to settle at night
Look for spaces in parks, corners and sheds around your house to create temporary shelter for strays as the temperature falls sharply post midnight. Newborn puppies can die due to the cold waves and building a temporary shelter for them to stay in can help them survive.
2. Make or Purchase Fleece/Jackets for strays
Regular sized jackets and fleece are available near you at eerie dog shops or clinics costing 100 – 200Rs depending on the quality. Team up with your friends or animal lovers to buy them in case of any budget constraints.
3. Feed them right
Animals too need energy just like humans to survive the cold weather. Add soybean, eggs, chicken in their diet to keep strays warm if you happen to feed them every day.
4. Vulnerable under their paws
During harsh winters, strays can suffer from swelling under their paws. You can treat it using Betadine and salt
1. Care from water-borne diseases
With water everywhere, water-borne diseases affect a lot of people as well as stray animals. Dogs have wounds, which are further aggravated after they get drenched in rain, sometimes resulting in maggots. Applying anti-tick powder and providing dry spots for dogs to sit can be an ideal way to avoid such possibilities.
2. Building temporary shelters
Absence of a permanent roof is one of the biggest problems for a stray. During monsoons ensure that there are enough dry spaces around your residential areas. Create temporary shelter using unused wood on a higher ground.
3. Supply food
Make sure to put out bowls of food and water once the rain stops in spots where there is a roof so that the food is protected from heavy rain.
4. Provide shelter in your apartment complex
During heavy rains allow strays to take shelter in your apartment complex
DO’s and DON'Ts
1. Never assume that someone else will help
There are times when we’ve seen an animal in a dire condition and assumed someone else will step up. Avoid assuming things and take action immediately. If you see an animal that needs help, do everything in your capacity to rescue it or call the nearest Animal association near you.
2. Avoid giving sweets especially chocolates to Dogs
Chocolate has theobromine, which dogs process much more slowly than humans and it leads to formation of toxins in their bodies. Additionally, stray dogs have a lower immunity than pets and you don’t want to put their health at risk.
3. Avoid giving anything that has spices or is deep fried
A lot of times, we tend to feed stray animals the leftovers from our own meals. It is not a good idea because our bodies and digestive systems work differently. While we have a very high tolerance for spices and oil, the same is not the case with animals, especially strays.
4. Build trust with strays as you know nothing about their past
Strays might not be vaccinated, in case of which you can go ahead and get that done. In any case, don’t try to be too physically close to them, lest you freak them out.
5. Don’t over feed or underfeed
Different animals have different food needs, educate yourself about that and act accordingly.
6. Never throw food from a moving vehicle
Make sure you get down and feed them properly because otherwise, they will start chasing other vehicles, too, and put their lives at risk.
7. If you start feeding stray animals, be consistent about it
When you quit feeding them all of a sudden, the animals don’t know how to get food because they have been dependent on you all this while.
8. Choose a spot and feed them at the same place
Let the spot not be closer to your house, especially if you have a pet and this might lead to fights between them. This will also help the stray animals to know where they need to be, which will develop discipline in them