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Companion animals too suffer from extreme heat conditions

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Summer is just around the corner and everyone has to bear the brunt of the severe heat in one way or the other and also brings with it a host of risks...

Karimnagar: Summer is just around the corner and everyone has to bear the brunt of the severe heat in one way or the other and also brings with it a host of risks for our companion animals.

With increasing urbanisation, the animals and birds living around us struggle to find natural water sources. Since thirst can strike at any time, a bowl or container of fresh clean water must be kept available 24 hours for the birds and animals.

Bykani Shravan Yadav an NGO said, “Managing animals in high temperatures requires good forward planning. Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts and developing plan for days of high to extreme temperature is essential in ensuring that your animals will have sufficient shade and water during those very hot days.”

D Rajitha, a biology teacher said during extreme hot humid or hot dry weather, the thermoregulatory capability of cattle dissipate heat by sweating and panting is compromised, and heat stress occurs. Ensure that the animals are kept under shades or shelters. If the tree shade is not available, thatched roof with materials like paddy straw of a minimum height should be provided for cooler environment.

Shelter is important especially for very young and old animals that are in poor condition or sick. Immediate veterinary aid should be provided to the animal suffering from sun stroke. In the meantime, the animal shall be moved to a cooler place, given bath with cold water or wrapped in wet sheets and provided with fan, she added.

Dr N Sridhar Reddy, a Veterinary doctor said with temperature rising, it is advisable to take care of the animals which live around us always. They could suffer from dehydration, sun stroke or nose bleeds and in many cases, the exposure can be fatal and may result in the death of animals. Lethargy, sunken eyes, appetite loss and dry mouths are some of the symptoms of dehydration found in animals and immediate veterinary care is required if these signs are spotted.

While heat stress can have significant impacts on production and animal welfare, by making some minor management changes and taking a little extra care of animals during periods of extreme hot weather, the effects of heat stress can be substantially reduced, he added.

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