The shops have stocked up colours, pichkaris and every other Holi essential, obviously the festival of colours is here. And while it is important to take care of yourself, oil your hair, use sunscreen etc., it is also important that you take good care of your pets and keep them safe from colours and bhang.
Dr Praveen Kumar, veterinary surgeon from the city says, “It could come as a huge surprise, but a dog’s skin is much more sensitive than that of a baby’s. So imagine the extent of damage that colours can cause. If colours fall on the animal, it should be washed away immediately by using a moisturising shampoo.”
In case an animal ingests colours of any kind, before rushing the animal to the doctor, it would be advisable to perform first aid at home by inducing vomit. Dr Praveen says, “Vinegar when put in the dog’s mouth induces vomit. If that’s not available, table salt can also be used.”
He further adds that after vomiting, the animal should be given a cup of cold milk mixed with raw egg whites. “It forms a layer in the stomach and protects it. In case any colour residue is left in the stomach, this will help protect from further damage.” Vomit should also be induced, should the animal ingest something laced with bhang. After first-aid, the animal should be rushed to the vet.
Bundla Padmaja, founder-president, Caring Hands for Animals says, “I do not see any point in playing Holi with animals. Animals do not enjoy colours. Should any colour enter the eyes of an animal, do wash the animal’s eyes with cold running water. Also ensure that your hands are clean while doing so. In case redness remains or the eyes start watering after some time, rush the animal to a vet.”
While pets have the good fortune of being looked after by caring owners, it is stray animals that get into major problems during our festivals. “In case people spot an animal in distress, whether they are showing signs of poisoning (panting heavily, salivating a lot) or blindness, they can give us a call on our numbers and we will dispatch our ambulances immediately.”
While you could always rush your animal to the vet, it is best to be safe than sorry. Smearing an animal with colours might seem and look like fun, however, for the hapless animals it could lead to blindness and in some cases be fatal too.