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       Sterilised street dogs suffer due to shoddy post-surgery care
 
        K C Asok
         Posted on :00:00:36 Apr 17, 2018
   
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       Last edited on:19:13:44 Apr 17, 2018
         Tags: Sterilised street dogs, suffer, post-surgery
 

It was a few weeks ago that three dogs from the vicinity of Vembayam native Prasad’s house were taken away by Kudumbasree workers for Animal Birth Control (ABC) surgery and anti-rabies vaccination.

On the third day they released the dogs at the same place but what Prasad and his mother saw was something heart-breaking. Stitches applied on their belly post-ABC surgery had snapped. Puss had formed in the deep long surgery wound that warranted immediate suturing.

Though they were street dogs, Prasad and mother used to feed them; they turned out to be the family’s trusted home guards. The duo could no more bear the sight of the beings’ silent sufferings.

Prasad found out that Vembayam panchayat was carrying out the ABC programme at Venjaramoodu veterinary hospital, with the help of Kudumbasree dog catchers and doctors recruited on contract basis. He called up the ABC centre and managed to get the Kudumbasree dog catchers take the dogs back to the hospital for further treatment.

This is not an isolated case in Kerala. When the increasing population of stray dogs snowballed into a social issue, government and local self-governing bodies swung into action apparently to please the public and media. Whether it is being properly carried out with proper follow-up is something that not at all bothers authorities concerned, even when crores had been set apart for the AB C programmes in the budget. Government pays from Rs 1300 to Rs 2100 for sterilizing a street dog.
Such open wounds appear on sterilized dogs when the birth control surgery is done by inexperienced vets lacking expertise. Sometimes vets and para-vets hurry through surgeries to show the number and release dogs before wounds show any sign of healing; quality of suturing materials are also a deciding factor in the time taken for the healing of the wounds.

Sally Kannan, a Thrissur-based animal activist, says post-surgery care is very important. Leaving dogs cramped in unhygienic cages post-surgery will lead to surgery wounds getting easily infected. Also, lactating mother dogs should also be not be sterilized as the stiches may tear away as they breast-feed her puppies.

“During post-surgery days the dogs should be given good food and lots of water to drink as there is possibility for dehydration in the body after surgery,” she adds.

One more important thing, according to animal experts, is that after healing of wounds, dogs should be released at the same area from where they were caught. In unfamiliar places, they will find it difficult to search for food. “Most of the dog catchers are untrained. They catch dogs ruthlessly using steel loops and drag them into vehicles. The trauma they undergo while being caught also affect their health and immunity power required to heal wounds,” say the activists. They suggest befriending dog with food and then catching them either by hand or net.

Now, let us come to Prasad’s case. As his dogs were not returned after so many days, he called up the ABC centre. He got the reply that the condition of his dogs were serious and the skin of one of the dogs was too thin to hold the stitches intact.     

Prasad feels dogs are being killed in the name of ABC, even when there is strict law in the land against killing of dogs. “Which politician or political party will come to the help of dogs or animals, for that matter? They will suffer without any complaining and die,” he quips.

However his joy knew no bounds when the Kudumbasree workers returned his dogs a few days ago but one of them was missing. He was told that the dog’s stitch wound was not healing. Now, since so many days have passed, Prasad and mother have started losing hope for return of that dog but, still… they are hoping against hopes.

 

 


 

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