Summer takes its toll on Mumbai's pets

Mumbai is sizzling and it’s not just the homo sapiens who are feeling dehydrated. The city’s largest animal hospital has been receiving a steady stream of patients since the past 15 days, with over 300 pet birds and animals being brought in for treatment by their panic-stricken owners. Most of them suffer from dehydration- related weakness and respiratory problems.

Doctors have been providing water and glucose to most birds (top) and animals (below) as they suffer from dehydration-related weakness and respiratory problems. Pics/ Abhinav Kocharekar 

The worst affected are dog breeds such as pugs and boxers, as well as a few species of birds used to colder climes. “We provide plenty of water and glucose to the pets, to re-energise them. We have also treated horses in the past few days.

They were bleeding from the nose due to the heat,” said RV Gaikwad, a veterinary doctor belonging to the Bombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (BSPCA).

Doctors said owners complained that most pet dogs refuse to have their food in the afternoon due to excessive heat. “So we recommend giving them food in the morning and evening. I also request most citizens to place a bowl of water outside their windows so that birds can come and have some water,” Gaikwad added.

BSPCA’S animal hospital works 24-hours a day and treats 200 animals and birds every day.

“Over 70 per cent of the birds, 20 per cent pet dogs and 10 per cent of cattle are affected by the extreme heat this year,” said Lt Col (Dr) JC Khanna, secretary BSPCA. Compared to the previous years, the number of unwell animals had increased this year, he said.  

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