Mumbai

Heat takes a toll on animals, birds

Simple steps like keeping water bowls in open spaces or on windows sills can help birds.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Navi Mumbai: The rise in mercury levels in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai has taken a heavy toll on its residents and their four-legged and furry friends. Veterinary doctors in the satellite city are seeing an increase in the number of cases of dehydration and heat stroke.

Dr. Pranav Ware, a veterinary doctor from Airoli, says he is treating about 10 birds and dogs every day over the past week, with thesudden weather change causing dehydration and heat stroke in birds, and summer tics in dogs. It is important to bring pets for regular check-ups, he said. “Summers are one of the toughest times for animals, just like humans. If not treated properly, minor issues related todehydration, stomach troubles and fever can turn fatal for them.”

Early this week, The India Meteorological Department forecast that temperatures could soar up to 40° Celsius on account of an anti-cyclone weather system that will heat up Maharashtra and Central India. The effects are already being felt: following below-normal temperatures early this month,temperatures have suddenly shot up. Elsewhere in the State, five people have died of heat-related conditions in the past 72 hours.

Pet owners need to be especially vigilant about symptoms of dehydration. Avoiding food, uneasiness, fur and skin dryness are some of the signs, with panting, rapid breath, red gums in extreme cases, said Dr. Ware. In such cases, the animals should at once be taken to a vet.

People should also come forward and feed strays, keeping bowls of water near the building or on their window sills.

Kharghar-based Veterinary couple Dr. Yuvraj Kaginkar and Dr. Madhurita Gupta of the MYVETS Trust have done their bit for the animals: they have placed 100 earthen water bowls across Kharghar.“We started the initiative three years ago. The aim is to ensure birds do not suffer due to extreme heat. The bowls are filled by us and our volunteers every day.”

Summer checklist

* Keep your pets in a cool place.

* Feed them with plenty of water; add a few drops of lemon juice and rock salt

* Shave or trim their fur so their bodies do not get too hot (especially black breeds)

* Avoid taking pets for a walk at noon

* Give their evening feeds early

* In case of birds, place a soothing shade of cloth over their cage and keep it in a cool place


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 7:21:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/heat-takes-a-toll-on-animals-birds/article17753609.ece

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