65 animals including birds, pets affected by heat wave in Thane
Around 65 animals including pets and birds have been impacted by the heat wave in April and May within Thane city, according to Community for Protection and Care of Animals (CPCA).
Meanwhile, Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) Foundation received 2,002 calls on their helpline in April and May, almost 50% more than the previous years. Many among these were complaints of heatstroke or dehydration.
Some have also died due to the extreme heat this year. Animal lovers request people to keep a bowl of water in their balconies or roadsides for the convenience of stray animals and birds in the city.
“We require more compassionate people around. In urban areas, there is a lack of shade due to development and this is making it difficult for stray animals to survive. Almost 35 daily calls made to our helpline are regarding dehydration or heat stroke. Instances of birds falling from trees have also been reported,” said Sushank Tomar, founder and head of department, Animal Rights and Advocacy, CAP Foundation.
Moreover, veterinarians request pet owners to take good care of their animals and ensure to keep them in a cooler room from 11am to 4pm.
“Some of the rare pet animals are such that they are breeds that are used to cold areas. Such pets find it difficult in our hot and humid weather. The two pet dogs that died were such breeds. They needed to be kept in an air-conditioned room. They should be given easy-to-digest food items and cold water,” said Dr Suhas Rane, veterinary consultant and secretary, CPCA.
There were 22 birds like parrots, kites, sparrowhawk, owl and pigeons apart from wild birds that suffered heat stroke and nine among them have been released back to the wild as they have recovered.
“Breeds of dogs such as German Shepherd and Husky are the ones that died due to the heat stroke. Pet owners must consult their veterinary doctors and find out the kind of care required during such weather,” added Rane.
“Moreover, these high-breed animals’ fur is groomed and trimmed. This causes direct exposure to sunlight. This also has harsh effects on their skin and health. These breeds are not accustomed to such weather. Around 5% to 10% of the calls received were in a difficult-to-save situation due to the heatstroke,” added Tomar.
With the mercury levels rising, the body temperature of the birds and animals also increases, affecting the blood flow and causing weakness and other related difficulties. Hence, utmost care through intake of fluids and temperature-controlled environment is essential, prescribe the veterinary doctors.
Dr Sailesh Pethe, senior veterinarian, Sanjay Gandhi National Park, said, “In the National park for large animals, we have set up coolers and water shower provision in their enclosures. Hence, no such incidents of heatstroke have been reported yet. However, stray animals or pets should be given a lot of water and general fluid intake should be increased. Pet food is usually dry, so additionally they should be given chicken soup or any kind of slurry. Avoid taking pets for a walk between 9am and 9pm. Take extra care of old pets, especially those with heart diseases, as they are prone to heatstroke.”
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