Spring is in the air but not everyone is happy.
For most dog lovers in the city, hair flying around the house is the first sign of the new season. Soon, they know their best friends would be beset with infections, allergies and excessive scratching.
Pratyaksha Thakur, the owner of English crème golden retriever, Austin, is pained at the droopy eyes of her beloved companion. But every year this time, Austin becomes lethargic and experiences hair loss and she knows spring has arrived. Thakur said: “At this time, meat and chicken is an essential part of Austin’s diet as it helps control his hair loss.”
Dr Ajay Alok has a pug and a German shepherd and is busy de-worming his dogs who have already been taken ill. His German shepherd has even developed wounds. “If the wound is at an early stage, an anti-microbial spray should be applied before it aggravates. I also clean them with towels dipped in antiseptic liquid as it helps cure skin allergies,” he said.
Patna zoo veterinarian and honorary secretary of Canine Club of Bihar Dr Ajit Kumar knows what every dog owner goes through during this time of the year. With a cocker spaniel of his own, his advice to owners is to ensure cleanliness of dogs, take them for routine dermatological checks and protect them from allergies.
He told The Telegraph: “Spring is a transitional season when the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. Many pets, including dogs, fall sick for various reasons at this time. The most common diseases include external parasite infections such as fleas and mites, hair fall, excessive scratching, allergies and dry paws. Excessive hair fall may also lead to skin diseases. Dog owners must be vigilant towards their pets’ good health and safety.”
This transitional season will continue till mid-March, said Ashish Sen, director, India Meteorological Department, Patna. He added that the temperature will continue to rise and spring would be in the air till the maximum temperature touches 37°C and above. “Moist easterly winds are expected in the state in around 10 days leading to increased sweat. The temperature will continue to rise and till mid-March it is expected to hover between 18°C and 33°C. Around the first week of April, summer is expected to set in.”