Pets, strays ‘at risk’ of diseases during monsoon

Deccan Chronicle.  | Bansari trivedi J

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

Pet lovers bring their pets for a free vaccination camp. (DC Image)

Hyderabad: Pets and stray animals too are susceptible to monsoon diseases because the season is typically a breeding ground for water-borne illnesses as well as other intestinal and stomach disorders, warn veterinary doctors.

City veterinarians assert that stray and domestic animals are particularly vulnerable to viral illnesses, including gastroenteritis and E-Canis (Ehrlichia canis). According to veterinarians, infections are caused by water-filled potholes where animals drink water, directly affecting their digestive systems.

“As the water becomes contaminated, the stray animals who drink it become seriously ill with numerous infections. If consumed, the water is exceedingly harmful due to its high bacterial content. It affects their stomach, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, and blood vomiting. We see several such cases each day,” said Dr. M. Gangadhar, a vet.

Further, Dr. M. Gangadhar said E-Canis is another major infection, caused by ticks, is on the rise. “They multiply quickly and affect the dogs’ immune systems. If both infections are not detected early on, they can both lead to death. They not only reduce the number of red blood cells, but also the number of platelets. The dogs become anaemic over time and die,” he said.

Veterinarians advise pet owners to wash their paws and wear a mouth cap while walking their dogs to avoid licking contaminated water and food found on the street.

“This is a season of bacterial and viral infections, particularly for the animals who live and eat on the streets. Strays are directly impacted and are more likely to contract such diseases. The food also gets moist quickly, so it’s best to give them fresh food. Change the water bowl frequently and provide fresh drinking water to the stray animal,” said Dr Niveditha, another vet.