Though pet parents say they are doing everything to keep their furry babies healthy and safe, several pets have taken a hard hit this winter, with many having to resort to nebulisers. As per veterinarians in the city, air pollution affects pets in the same way as it affects humans.
‘My pet doesn't leave the room that has an air purifier ’
Noida resident Anubha Majethia’s 11-year-old Labrador, Ace, developed bronchitis during the first week of November. “Ace was constantly coughing and his appetite was going down, too.”
Conjunctivitis, bronchitis & infections: Pollution in NCR is choking pets, too
“We consulted a veterinarian who diagnosed a bad case of bronchitis attack. He recovered after taking medicines for over a week. He now prefers to stay in the room that has an air purifier,” says Anubha, who lives in Sector 107.
Mundka resident Achal Gupta also noticed that his one-year-old Indie, Ozzo, was facing trouble breathing the day after Diwali. “I noticed that Ozzo was breathing very heavily; his belly was getting sucked into his ribcage. The vet gave him a nebuliser and prescribed some medicines. I can’t even take him outside now, so he has to relieve himself in our toilet,” says Achal.
To keep his four pets healthy and help them cope with the poor air, Achal has made changes to their diet now. “Apart from placing air purifiers across the house, I am using some home remedies to help my pets breathe better. I have started adding turmeric and apple cider vinegar to their food to help flush out toxins from their system,” says Achal.
'A 25% increase in number of pets with breathing issues'
As per doctors, older dogs and young puppies are at a higher risk of developing breathing issues because of pollution. According to some vets in the city, there has been a 25% increase in the number of pets coming in with respiratory problems this year. “Since October 25 this year, the number of pets suffering from pharyngitis (sore throat), breathing problems and upper respiratory tract issues has increased. We have been treating these cases through nebulisation. We handle over 10 such cases per day, which is a significant increase from last year,” says Dr Gautam Anand, who has veterinary clinics in Vikaspuri and Greater Kailash-1.
According to Dr Pramod from Pet Chikitsa Veterinary Hospital in Gurgaon, this year has seen a 25% increase in such cases. “The number of cases of pets suffering from respiratory diseases usually increases during this time of the year. However, there is a 25% increase in such cases this year, due to the severe air pollution,” he explains, adding that prolonged exposure to bad air may lead to chronic bronchitis.
Air pollution also causing other diseases in pets
“Cases of conjunctivitis and ear infections in pets have also increased because of the bad air quality. After falling ill, some pets suffer from depression as well and it takes them a long time to recover,” says Dr Vineet Kumar, a veterinary doctor who has his clinic in Sector 12, Noida. He adds that he is currently handling at least 15 cases of air pollution-triggered diseases in pets every day, as opposed to 10 cases a day during the same time last year.
Keep your pooch indoors and well hydrated
Take the pet out early in the morning but only if it is absolutely necessary or if the dog is not potty trained
Try to reduce the exercise time of the pet. Exercise should be done in gardens or parks, away from busy roads
Since older dogs and young puppies are at a higher risk, immunity boosting supplements should be provided to them
The pets should be hydrated to flush out toxins
Pet parents should keep the house clean and free from dust; keep windows and doors closed at all times
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