Posted in Animals, Be the Change, Do you know?, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, Information that empowers!, Inspiration, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

The Dog Care Field Manual by Harrell Graham (Kind Courtesy: Mr. Merrit Clifton at ANIMAL PEOPLE)

We at ‘Jaagruti’ think that this manual serves as a handy asset for all of us who look after our neighborhood street dogs in India and often find ourselves stuck! 

Download The Dog Care Field Manual by Harrell Graham by clicking here 

All text below by Mr. Merrit Clifton from ANIMAL PEOPLE:

This Dog Care Field Manual, by Harrell Graham,  covers wound treatment;  treatment of both internal parasites such as worms and external parasites such as mange;  emergency response to poisoning;  and avoidance of rabies.  Each topic is reviewed in depth and detail,  recommending crisis care that almost anyone can give when the nearest veterinarian is many miles and hours away. 

Graham,   who recently returned to the U.S. after five years in rural Thailand, compiled The Dog Care Field Manual from his own rescue experience,  in consultation with sympathetic veterinarians from around the world.  Asks Graham, “Have you ever seen a sick or mangy dog and found yourself saying, ‘I wish there was something I could do to help that poor creature?’  Are you an expatriate living in a second or third world country where these sick and wounded animals are everywhere?

“This manual will show you how you can spend some time outside helping man’s best friend and at the same time get to know your community, meet people, and make your life more interesting and meaningful.  It doesn’t require a lot:  a handful of readily available medicines, plus some dry dog food.

“The satisfaction that comes from watching a mite-infected, sick and possibly hairless dog gain his strength and beauty back over a period of just a few weeks is hard to beat.”

Much of Graham’s advice will help rescuers anywhere.  Even where veterinarians are plentiful and accessible during business hours, there is not always a clinic open all night when one finds a dog in distress, and even if such a clinic exists, emergency treatment may be necessary before the dog is moved.

“I read it and found it to be very useful,” C.P. Ramaswamy Institute president Nanditha Krishna e-mailed from Chennai, India, less than 24 hours after ANIMAL PEOPLE posted The Dog Care Field Manual for downloading from our web site.  “Since I run a mini shelter with 15 dogs at home, I constantly need help.  I have downloaded the manual to my desktop.”

The Dog Care Field Manual is not meant to substitute for veterinary care, even in remote regions of the developing world.

“I am a big believer in working with a local vet,” Graham told ANIMAL PEOPLE.  In particular,  an experienced local vet “can better diagnose certain cases,”  Graham explained,  where the dog suffers from a condition known in the community,  but not common elsewhere. However, Graham found that the nearest capable veterinary diagnostician was often far distant.  In Thailand, Graham recalls,  “My vet asked me to bring him pictures––rather than haul all the dogs from the temples 30 miles away––and he could tell me what to do if I didn’t already know.  There were only a handful of times I had to do this because, usually,  Ivermectin and some worm pills,  plus maybe some antibiotics,  are all that most dogs need.

“On those occasions where the dog had problems I couldn’t deal with,”  Graham added,  “I took the dog to the vet.”  Examples included “a broken leg with bloody sharp bones protruding;  liver disease with great ascites (belly distention);   and red cauliflower-like transmissible venereal tumors growing on the genitals,  where the dog needed intervenous chemotherapy.  I did administer intervenous vincristine at night once, on the side of the road, with a head lamp,  and no one to assist me,  but a vet can do it much more easily and quickly.”

Graham acknowledges that some of his advice may be controversial.  “Regarding my suggestion of ‘throwing’ multiple drugs such as antibiotics,  antifungals,  and antiparasitics at an animal who has no hair and is sick,”  Graham recalls grilling experts by e-mail,  reminding them that “stray dogs will not have access to multiple tests in a vet’s office.”  Most conceded that “Under those circumstances the ‘shotgun approach’ was okay.”

But Graham prefers to take a more cautious approach.  For example,   “I prefer to not give antifungals,” Graham says,  “until I’ve first dewormed the dog,  and have given the dog Ivermectin for mites,  and antibiotics.”

Adds Graham,  “I’ve treated more dogs with more severe skin infections than most western vets will see in a lifetime of treating ‘yuppy’ dogs.  I know the approach I outline in the Dog Care Field Manual works because it has been ‘battle tested.’  That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”

Graham is continuing to research possible additions and amendments. 

Posted in Animals, Do-it-Yourself (DIY)Series: Animal Rescue and Treatment, General/Animals, Medical treatment of Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Street Dogs of India, Take Action!

Is your neighbourhood street dog coughing off late? Sharing a treatment that may work

We have seen many dogs who are coughing really hard and continuously in this unbearable summer heat of Delhi-NCR, may be you have too…the cough could be because of dust-triggered Respiratory Infection, says our consultant veterinary doctor. It is painful to see the dogs coughing this way, trying as if they were to release something out that is stuck in their throat and often spitting out phlegm (‘balgam‘ as it is called in Hindi).

The treatment* we have successfully used to treat four dogs on the street over the past month and cure them off their cough is as follows, sharing here so that the readers of this blog can also make use of it:

  1. Go to your neighborhood chemist shop and purchase a strip of Ampoxin-500mg Capsules (it is an antibiotic medicine). A Strip of 15 capsules would cost you Rs.38 only.
  2. Give the coughing dog a 3 day antibiotic-course (3 days x 2 capsules daily) of this medicine. This means that you need to give the coughing dog one Ampoxin-500mg capsule in the morning and one in the evening for three consecutive days.
  3. How to give the capsule, so that the dog will consume the medicine? : Now this is the tricky part. Do not give the capsule as whole, the dog will spit it out and leave the food, who likes food with medicines anyways? :) Open the capsule, cut the capsule at its tip with a scissor and pour the capsule’s white colour powder in some paneer/cheese or sweet like gulab jamun.

*Please note: We are not doctors, but we are sharing this treatment protocol here because we have tried it successfully and we understand that it is very difficult to take each and every street dog to a vet or veterinary hospital for treatment. Many ailments, if detected early enough in street dogs, can be best treated on the street itself.

Posted in Animals, Environment, Medical treatment of Animals, Pets, Street Dogs of India

Limping Dogs: A treatment we used that worked!

Many a time we at Jaagruti have come across street dogs with a limp in either their hind (back) legs or the fore (front) legs. The cause for these limping legs is not difficult to guess, more often than not it is inflicted by humans whereby dogs get hit by vehicles or often it is self-inflicted when the severely territorial street dogs acting macho enter into ‘dog fights’ to shoo other street dogs from intruding into their areas.

But, since it is practically impossible to pick up all limping street dogs and take them to a vet to get antibiotics and painkillers administered for a course of 3-4 days, we were looking for a simpler method to treat such dogs, a method which gives us the flexibility to treat them on the street with minimal fuss.

Thankfully, while exploring such options, our consultant vet suggested we try out a veterinary liquid syrup based medicine named, ‘Petcam’/now renamed ‘Melcam’ (Brand of CIPLA) or ‘Melonex’ (Brand of INTAS). For Rs.50-Rs.80 for a 10 ml bottle depending on the brand one buys, it was and is not a strain on the pocket either.

As we purchased our first bottle of Petcam/Melcam/Melonex, our eyes noticed its key ingredient, which was ‘meloxicam’ (also the more generic name of this medicine). Meloxicam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It is also the substitute advised in place of ‘Doclofenac’.

A poster being used to make public aware of using 'Meloxicam' in place of 'Diclofenac' as a veterinary drug/painkiller (As Diclofenac administration to cattle is being held responsible for the decline in vulture population that feeds carcasses of cattle that had been administered Diclofenac)

‘Diclofenac’ is a veterinary drug (commonly used in cattles) which is now being held responsible for the decline in India’s vulture population, prompting the Indian Government to ban its sale. Latest news reports and studies validate say that this ban on use of Diclofenac has proved effective.

Now coming back to how we have used the bottle of Petcam medicine to cure 6 dogs with limping legs over the past few months.

Petcam, as the bottle cover says is used for control of osteoarthritis assoiated (i.e bone related) pain in dogs. Petcam Oral Solution can be used on a long-term and continuous basis (but what is advised is that you follow the veterinary doctor’s advice depending upon the severity of the limp), as obviously Petcam can’t cure fractured bones!

Petcam-Oral-Suspension-Meloxicam

Follow the directions for using this medicine provided by your veterinarian. Use Petcam Oral Suspension exactly as directed.

The dosage of Petcam to be given to street dogs is easily adjusted according to the dog’s weight. This medicine box comes with a syringe marked with gradation from 1ml to 10 ml.

The medicine is usually administered as a single dose of 0.2 mg/kg body weight (i.e 1ml of this suspension for every 10 kg of dog weight) on the first day of treatment. Thereafter it is administered once daily as 0.1 mg/kg.

For example: If the dog weighs around 30 kgs, the dose that needs to be given to him on Day 1 would be 6 ml followed by 3ml doses for the next 2-3 days. Normally clinical signs of improvement would be noticed by  Day 4 of treatment.

The oral suspension can be either mixed with food or placed directly into the dog’s mouth. The way we have preferred to give it is by putting it in diluted milk placed in a plastic vessel.

Chintu

Of the many dogs we have administered Petcam succesfully, one of the cases has been that of Chintu, a street dog who with his habit of sleeping underneath cars was constantly limping around with one or the other leg of his. Chintu’s condition was brought to our attention by two families caring for him residing on the ground floor of the very building whose stairs are Chintu’s home. Beginning with a 4 ml dose on Day 1 followed by 2ml doses over the next three days, we were successfully able to get Chintu back on his feet.

Another case was that of a dog, whom we found on a road divider next to  Dilli haat, Pitampura, he had such a severe limp that one of his hind legs was completely bent and lifted upwards.

On Day 1 we gave him a 6ml dose of Petcam followed by 3 ml doses for the next few days till he was able to put his feet back on the ground.

Petcam can also be served in a minimal dose of just 1-2 ml mixed in diluted milk (every alternate week) to an old street dog in your area who is having troubles walking either due to his age or due to his weight.

However, like all medicines, it is advised that you use Petcam with discretion. Please also note that it is not recommended to use Petcam Oral Suspension in pregnant and lactating dogs or in dogs younger than 6 months of age.